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ZESCO URGED TO APPLY FOR INCREASED WATER ALLOCATION FOR POWER GENERATION

By OLIVER SAMBOKO

ZESCO should consider applying for more water allocation at Kariba Dam so that the utility company can increase power generation to cushion the impact caused by the shutting down of the Kafue upper power Station, says Energy expert Victor Hazemba.

He said according to Data provided by the Zambezi River Authority, Kariba Dam has continued receiving large amounts of water from upper Zambezi River and its tributaries and therefore the need to increase power generation to cushion the impact of the partial closure of Kafue upper.

Mr Hazemba said as the country is recovering from the economic slowdown caused by the covid 19 outbreak that saw many manufacturing companies shutting down operations, the Government should ensure that there is stable supply of electricity to enable the manufacturing companies to flourish.

“The country cannot afford to go through what it did during the peak of covid 19, coupled with the power deficit caused by poor rain experienced by the country in the past seasons,” he said.

ZESCO is currently implementing stage one of load management that has resulted in the country experiencing load shedding of between one to four hours at peak hours following the implementation of the emergency works on two of its generating units, one at Kariba North Bank and the Kafue Gorge Upper Power Stations, leading to a loss of approximately 160MW of generation capacity.

The country will also experience a second phase of load management to run for approximately fifteen days in June 2021.

The Kariba Lake is designed to operate between levels 475.50m and 488.50m (with 0.70m freeboard) for hydropower generation.

The Lake level is increasing steadily due to higher inflows from the main Zambezi River, but the Kariba North Bank Power Station (KNBPS) has continued operating at reduced capacity because ZRA, the owners of the Dam has only allocated 30 billion cubic metres of water to Zambia and Zimbabwe.     

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