March 2014 – CONCO has completed a R35-million substation upgrade in Kitwe, Zambia for ZESCO Limited. This is the first project undertaken by CONCO for the Zambian utility and has been hailed as a benchmark for other infrastructure projects in the country.
“ZESCO commended CONCO on the quality of workmanship and transformer quality,” says Joseph Makhetha, CONCO Project Engineer. “The upgrade of the Luangwa substation in Kitwe to 66/11 kV has been a great success, hence ZESCO using it as a benchmark for other projects in the area.”
CONCO Business Development Manager for the region, Thami Bokwa, commented, “Since opening a dedicated office in Zambia, CONCO has secured significant contracts over the past two and a half years. The Luangwa substation upgrade however, is the first project undertaken for ZESCO directly, resulting in CONCO being well on track to entrenching itself in this market.”
Due to growth in the area, the existing substation was running at full capacity with regular power outages being experienced. The upgrade has proved to be highly successful in meeting the demand for power and also helping to improve the lives of residents in the areas the substation serves.
“The transformer at the Luangwa substation was in need of an upgrade as the transformer capacity for the substation had been exhausted. CONCO’s scope of work was to upgrade the substation to 2 x 31,5 MVA installed capacity from 1 x 15 MVA, so as to improve security of supply and establish firm capacity. In addition, replacement of the existing 11 kV switchboard with a thirteen-panel 25 kA board, including all protection and control panels and a new D20 remote terminal unit (RTU), was undertaken. The RTU enables ZESCO to monitor the substation from their control centre,” said Makhetha.
“CONCO provided training for ZESCO’s employees particularly with regard to the new technology implemented at the substation, being SCADA, protection and metering. This transfer of skills to local technicians is an important aspect of all projects that CONCO embarks upon,” says Makhetha.
Another project completed by CONCO in Zambia was the US$6-million substation and overhead line designed and
constructed for the Copperbelt Energy Corporation at Konkola Mine. CONCO has gained a significant share of the market over the past few years and the further three projects lined up are testament to its ongoing success in the region.