The Southern African Power Pool has appointed UK-based engineering consultancy WSP to develop a proposed 330 kV electricity interconnector between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
A strong transmission link will help the DRC and neighbouring Zambia improve the security and reliability of the power networks and to foster economic development and regional integration.
The project, which has financial backing from the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the AREP programme, is also aimed at supporting the development of an efficient and competitive regional power market to reduce electricity prices in the region.
The 330 kV transmission line will connect Kolwezi, in the DRC, to the district of Solwezi, in Zambia, through the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation network at either the Lumwana or Kalumbila substations.
The line will also connect to the future Société Nationale d’Electricité network at the Kolwezi NRO substation.
Going forward, a team of engineers will undertake a three-stage feasibility study to develop options and recommend a preferred solution for the interconnector. Work packages include the initial assessment of the routes and substations, data gathering, financial and economic analysis, detailed route surveys and detailed design and specifications.
All three phases will be completed within an 18-month programme of works ending in 2019.
WSP networks head Paul Glendinning said the project would serve to bring together WSP’s UK operation with its newly developed modelling skill set and expertise from its South African and Canadian offices.
“The electricity transmission expansion in sub-Saharan Africa is a specialist area for our business, as we have been implementing schemes for 50 years.”