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