Low water won’t affect Zambia, Zim power generation


Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe

from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS, (CAJ News) AUTHORITIES managing the Kariba Dam and the Zambezi River have assured of sufficient water for power generation for both Zambia and Zimbabwe despite declining water levels.

The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) explained the recession was in line with the current dry season, a trend expected to continue until the start of the rains before the end of the year.

However, the recession will be offset by the fact that there were more inflows in the 2021 rainy season compared to last year.

ZRA, mandated with managing for Zambia and Zimbabwe governments, assured there is enough water for electricity generation for the rest of the year.

Edward Kabwe, the ZRA Acting Chief Executive, said the 12 billion cubic meters (m3) increase in water allocation announced by the water authority in June, to be shared equally between the two power utilities, ZESCO (formerly Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation) and Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), would be sustained for the rest of 2021.

This is for their respective power generation at Kariba North Station and Kariba South Bank Power Stations respectively.

Recordings are done at 14 stations, with Victoria Falls and Chavuna the main gauges.

“Lake levels have continued to recede steadily closing the period under review at 482,05m on 9th August 2021,” Kabwe said.

The lake level has receded by 0,77m from the 482,82 mark from the last update made on June 7.

This has placed the lake level at 6,55m above the minimum operating level (MOL) of 475,5m.

The recorded lake level of August 9 translates to 30,66 billion cubic meters (BCM) or 47,32 percent of usable or live storage.

Last year on the same date, the lake level was lower at 480, 4m with 25,18 BCM or 38,86 percent of usable storage, with the lake being only 5,44m above the MOL,” Kabwe said.

Zimbabwe faces perennial power challenges.

Kariba has an installed capacity of generating 1 050MW and currently produces about 800MW against a national consumption of about 1 300MW.

Zimbabwe also gets its power from thermal power stations in Hwange, which generates 450MW against an installed capacity of 920MW, Bulawayo (currently closed), Harare and Munyathi, both
generating about 15MW each.

Zimbabwe augments supplies with imports from neighbouring Mozambique and South Africa.

Thermal and solar independent power producers are coming on board and will be feeding the national grid.

– CAJ News

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