Hauling hydro power

Hauling hydro power

Did you know that only 25 percent of Zambians have access to electricity, with just five percent of rural areas electrified? The republic has therefore embarked on infrastructure upgrades to increase its current generating capacity of 1 948 MW.

The Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro-Power Project (KGL), on Zambia’s Kafue River, a tributary of the Zambezi, is scheduled to start delivering another 750 MW of electricity to the country’s expanding power grid by 2020. The dam that will power the new turbines, under construction since late 2015, is located about 17 km downstream from the Kafue Gorge Upper Hydro-Power Project, which was completed in 1973 and generates 900 MW.

The new Kafue Dam project, financed by EXIM Bank of China, is also being designed and constructed with Chinese expertise by the Sinohydro Corporation. The new dam, about 90 km south of Lusaka, will be 140 m high and 387 m long at the crest, and its outflow will power five 150 MW turbines, making it Zambia’s third-largest hydro-power facility. It requires massive amounts of materials, particularly cement, which is where South Africa’s JSE-listed supply chain specialist, Cargo Carriers, comes in.

While keen to expand into neighbouring SADC countries, Cargo Carriers has been careful to do so in a way that protects the company’s brand values, crafted over years of experience in the South African logistics industry. They do this by acquiring wholly owned subsidiaries in the relevant countries; combining local knowledge of business regulations and practice with Cargo Carriers’ expertise in reliable, cost-effective supply chain management.

Cargo Carriers’ reputation on big projects may also have helped its Zambian subsidiary – Heavy Hauliers Zambia – win the five-year contract. “We have gained experience in large construction projects in southern Africa,” says Bennie Barnard, Cargo Carriers’ general manager for Business Development.

“We were involved in the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, and in particular the construction of the Katse and Mohale Dams – so we are well versed in big construction projects, and we can transfer that expertise to our subsidiaries.”

In keeping with the parent company’s policy, Heavy Hauliers Zambia has access to strict driver training, patented software-based pickup-to-delivery load monitoring, and a strict vehicle-replacement regime. With regards to the last benefit, Cargo Carriers has just added six bulk tankers to the Heavy Hauliers Zambia fleet.

“The six trucks can carry 33,5 t of cementitious product per load,” Barnard adds. “In the initial phase, we were hauling 180 t of cement per day from the supplier in Lusaka to the construction site. But the daily tonnage grows as the demands of the project increase. We will be delivering 800 t per day at peak demand.”

With growth still booming in many sub-Saharan countries, the future promises plenty more projects like KGL in Africa’s burgeoning infrastructure development.  

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