Several firsts recorded on transmission line upgrade project

July 28th, 2015, Published in Articles: Energize


Drone images with Transmission LineEPC turnkey transmission line contractor Babcock has commenced a 15-month contract to upgrade Zambia’s 342 km Kafue Town-Muzuma-Livingstone high voltage transmission line from 220 kV to 330 kV. This is one of the oldest high voltage transmission lines in Africa and the upgrade became necessary to increase the transfer capacity of the line to accommodate the input of new independent power producers coming into the grid. It will extend the line’s life by a minimum of 25 years. The company will utilise drones to perform in-situ tower inspections – one of the first applications of this technology in Africa. These remotely controlled aerial craft, equipped with photographic equipment, eliminate the need to deploy climbers on the towers to conduct inspections, which represents a true safety innovation. Another first on this project is the utilisation of a sophisticated three-dimensional (3D) software engineering model which includes the terrain, structures and all the wires. The line will remain on load throughout the upgrade project and the team will build by-passes to enable them to reconstruct the main line.

Contact Gary Whalley, Babcock, Tel 011 467-2133,

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