KARIBA DAM REHAB WON’T EFFECT POWER GENERATION – ZESCO
By OLIVER SAMBOKO
RESUMPTION of major repair works at Kariba Dam will have no impact on the country’s power generation as the Kariba North bank Power Station is operating within the allocated amount of water by ZRA, Zesco has said.
Kariba North Bank Power Station in Siavonga has a total installed capacity of 1, 080 but due to low levels of water at Kariba Dam, the power stations has been operating at reduced capacity.
Zesco Senior Corporate Affairs Manager Dr John Kunda said power generation at Kariba is coordinated at operational level to ensure the power utility firm meets the demands of the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) as well as the maintenance works that are ongoing.
Dr Kunda said the company is dealing with an average generation but was confident that the works at Kariba will not affect capacity.
He also said Zesco has in place mitigation systems such that even if there is reduced generation, the country will still have adequate power.
Dr Kunda also explained that Zesco is in constant communication with ZRA to ensure that the power utility works within the water allocation limit.
“We have an annual water allocation for power generation, and we are working within that limit so the country will not be affected by the resumption of works at Kariba Dam,” he said.
The Kariba project had been temporarily shelved in December last year, but the ZRA has recently requested Zesco and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority to reduce generation levels to allow for completion of critical works on the dam wall.
Zimbabwe has already announced prolonged load shedding hours for the next two weeks.
Kariba Dam rehabilitation project involves re-shaping of the plunge pool to address safety deficiencies as well as the refurbishment of six flood gates to enhance operational control of reservoir releases.