Tata Power recently announced the commissioning of two units of 60-mw each of its 120-mw Itezhi Tezhi hydropower in Zambia, in which Tata Power has a 50 per cent stake. The synchronisation of both the units was completed in January, 2016. Power utility ZESCO is the other partner in the project that is built on the Itezhi Tezhi Dam.
The initial purpose of the Itezhi Tezhi Dam, built in the 1970s, was to serve as a reservoir for the Kafue Gorge power station. However, due to an acute power deficit in the late 2000s, the Government of Zambia revived its plans to construct a hydropower plant in close proximity to the dam site. The 120-mw project was, therefore, selected as a viable brownfield solution to address the power shortage in Zambia, and the Itezhi Tezhi Power Corporation (ITPC) was incorporated in 2007. It is a first of a kind public private partnership (PPP) in the power sector in Zambia, and is currently owned by Tata Power and ZESCO, a Zambian power utility, on a 50:50 basis on a 25-year build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) concession period. ZESCO is the sole off-taker of power from the ITT power plant.
Doubling capacity: Meanwhile, Tata Power said in a release that it was planning to double its installed power generation capacity to 18,000 mw by 2020, from the current 9,036 mw. The 4,000 mw Mundra ultra mega power project in Gujarat is currently the single-largest power generation asset in the company’s portfolio. The contribution of clean and renewable energy in the total portfolio is 1,383 mw, or 15 per cent. This includes 511 mw from wind farms, 60 mw from solar apart from 573 mw in hydropower and 240 mw from waste heat-based power generation.