World Geothermal Congress 2020+1
March - October, 2021

Kapishya Resource Re-assessment


[Zesco, Zambia]

Introduction Zambia belongs to the western branch of East African Rift System (EARS) which develops from Uganda throughout Lake Tanganyika, where it joins the Eastern branch, following the border between Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). (LEGG, 1974). Zambia does have EARS associated geology and geothermal systems in the Northern part of the country. The western branch is characterised with low enthalpy and much less active in terms of volcanism although both branches are seismically and tectonically active today. Previous studies conducted on the Geothermal resource in Zambia indicate that there are over 50 potential sites for possible development (LEGG, 1974). Among the various sites identified, Kapishya located at Latitude 30 28’34.002’’E, Longitude 8 20’59.9314’’S in the northern parts of Zambia was ranked among the best. Water temperature, discharge and radioactivity measurements were conducted, water samples and chemical deposits were collected for analysis and geological settings were briefly studied. However, Kapisya site has neither been fully exploited nor developed as a power source. In 2007, ZESCO conducted Geoscientific surveys with the objective of revamping Kapishya Geothermal plant which was constructed under the Zambia-Italy Geothermal Project (“ZIT”) in 1986-1987, from which a natural heat discharge rate of the order 5 MWth was established. Among the issues that have caused Kapisya to be out of operation and remain untapped since the 1990’s is that the power evacuation was not adequately addressed , the load centres were far, the available load was limited despite the potential being estimated to be in the order of 2000kW (2MW). The power deficit which occurred in Zambia in the recent years (2015) has been attributed to low rainfall and low reservoir levels necessitating a review of other sources of renewable energy. It is now intended that the geothermal resource for Kapisya be reviewed and funding to update and redesign Kapishya potential geothermal site with possibility for advanced investigations including geoscientific surveys be undertaken. This paper is a synopsis of the challenges, potential and possible undertakings necessary to make Kapisya viable.

        Topic: Resource Assessment Paper Number: 16072

         Session 8P: Poster 2 [Tuesday 11th May 2021, 11:00 pm] (UTC-8)
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