A 74% full Kariba dam spells pos­i­tive prospects for Zam­bia’s power gen­er­a­tion…

Zambian Business Times - - FRONT PAGE -

The world’s largest man-made lake, the Kariba dam is now 74% full (Com­pared to 52% same time a year ago). These lev­els have not been seen in over 3-4years as South­ern Africa was hit by ef­fects of El Niño re­sulted in lower than av­er­age rain­fall in the re­gion. Most of South­ern Africa save South Africa de­pend on hy­dro for power gen­er­a­tion and as such, suf­fered power deficits be­tween 560-850MW on av­er­age of which Zam­bia, Africa’s sec­ond largest cop­per pro­ducer was ad­versely im­pacted. The mines, the na­tion’s ma­jor earner of for­eign ex­change util­is­ing about 57% of the grid had to trim these lev­els to be­low 30% to ease the grid of peak de­mand at a time when rolling black­outs dubbed ‘load shed­ding’ were the or­der of the day re­sult­ing in lower than usual cop­per ton­nage for 2015 and 2016. Lake lev­els – due to in­creased in­flows on the main stream Zam­bezi River – closed last week at 485.47m (com­pared to 482.70m same time a year ago) rep­re­sent­ing a 74% ca­pac­ity fill of the wa­ter body.

In­creased wa­ter lev­els spell im­proved gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity for Zam­bia. How­ever, the Kariba is cur­rently be­ing used for 50% of its usual ca­pac­ity as the power util­ity fo­cuses on other power gen­er­a­tion from other sources.

Power trans­mis­sion in Africa’s sec­ond largest cop­per pro­ducer, Zam­bia.

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