The Itezhi Tezhi Dam in Zambia | Photo: Multiconsult

Assessment of Itezhi Tezhi Dam in Zambia

ZESCO Limited of Zambia has awarded Multiconsult a contract to undertake an assessment of old electrical and control systems for electro-mechanical equipment at Itezhi Tezhi Dam.

Through the project, Multiconsult will review all of the electrical equipment that power and control the Dam’s electro-mechanical equipment, provide recommendations and carry out detailed designs and specification for the upgrading, replacement and rehabilitation of the electrical systems.

Important role of the dam

The Itezhi-Tezhi Dam on the Kafue River in west-central Zambia was built between 1974 and 1977 and regulates the river flows, performing two important functions, control of water flows to the Kafue Flats and regulation of water feeding the 990 MW Kafue Gorge (Upper) power scheme some 230 km downstream. The control of the water flows to the Kafue Flats is an important role of the scheme, providing seasonal flood flows downstream to maintain the ecology and environment of the flats.

“Numerous benefits will be realised by this project,” says Andy Thick, Mechanical Engineer and Proposal Manager for Multiconsult. “Whilst the civil works structures of dams can be expected to last 100 years and the mechanical equipment 60 years, the electrical and control equipment typically only have life spans up to 40 years. Inspections in January 2018 showed that the electrical equipment and installations of the Itezhi-Tezhi Dam have deteriorated and near the end of their operating life. Ensuring new and refurbished equipment is therefore vital for the continued operation going forward. Upgrading of the monitoring and control equipment will also enable remote control and enhanced water management for the Kafue River. A challenging aspect and key concern of the project is the need to keep the facilities operational and minimise any disruption during the replacement work,” he says.

Building on a long history

With its extensive specialist expertise in hydropower development, Multiconsult history working in the energy sector in Zambia traces back to the 1920s.

“After successfully working together on several previous assignments such as the hydro rehabilitation and uprating program and the fixed asset evaluation project, we are pleased to continue our good co-operation with ZESCO on this important project,” says Anders Gustav Pettersen, Managing Director Multiconsult UK.

Multconsult’s other current engagements in Zambia includes “Refurbishment of the Lunzua, Musondo Falls, Lusiwasi Upper and Chisimba Falls small hydropower plants” and “Implementation Consultant for the GET FiT Zambia program”. Recent engagements include “Tender Agent for the development of 100MW of Solar PV in Zambia” and “Asset Identification, Verification and Revaluation for Zesco Limited”.