Zesco says it is working hand in hand with the government to mitigate and stabilize the electricity shortage in the country.
Speaking at a media briefing held in Lusaka, Thursday, Zesco Board Chairperson, Dr Mbita Chitala said as a result of the country’s dependence on hydro power generation, the water deficit at the KARIBA dam has greatly impacted the utility company’s generation capacity.
He stated that Zesco is well aware of the adverse impact that the deficit has had on all sectors of the economy hence putting in measures meant to mitigate the situation.
Dr Chitala announced that as a mitigation measure, the company commenced load management across the country to ensure that power generation could continue into the following rainy season.
“In mitigating this deficit, Zesco with the help of government paid for the importation of power from ESKOM of South Africa which began on 22 November 2019. However Zesco continues facing challenges in importing the full 300 megawatt from time to time because of the limited availability of a wheeling path during off-peak period,” said Dr Chitala.
The Zesco Board Chairperson said that as a way of further mitigating the power deficit, the utility company will be bringing on board the Kafue gorge lower hydro power station (KGL) which is a 750 mega watts power plant.
He said that the 80% complete KGL plant project is expected to be commissioned in phases, beginning with the first 150 megawatt machine by May 2020.
“Zesco is expecting to generate not less than 200 megawatts of power from the renewable solar project in Serenje by the end of 2020 which will help stabilize the power supply in the country going forward.”
He further noted that in line with government’s vision 2030 and the Seventh National Development Plan, Zesco will also continue to pursue other interventions which include the 1,200 mega watt Batoka, 1,000 megawatt Luapula basin hydro power project as well as 120 megawatt solar projects under the GETFIT programme.