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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Load shedding returns as ZESCO announces a Six-hour load shedding schedule

HeadlinesLoad shedding returns as ZESCO announces a Six-hour load shedding schedule

Energy Minister Peter Kapala has announced that ZESCO will commence load shedding on 15th December 2022 due to the low water levels in the Kariba dam.

Delivering a ministerial statement in Parliament this morning, Mr. Kapala says the water levels in Kariba dam have been reducing on account of low inflows from the Zambezi river and over utilisation of water to sustain power generation has also worsened the situation.

The Minister said load management will be undertaken for a period of four months aimed at rationing water in the dam in order to avoid a complete shutdown.

Mr.Kapala explained that ZESCO will optimize generation at all power stations in the country and fast track the development of other power projects to mitigate the impact of reduced power generation.

He said as of 28th November 2022, the water levels were at 4.1 percent of usable water storage saying this threatens power generation for both Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“ZESCO will implement a load management regime aimed at rationing power generation at the Kariba Complex to avoid a complete shutdown. This will be done with the view to minimize the impact on key economic sectors as well as preservation of the integrity of generation units at the Kariba Complex,” Mr Kapala said.

He added, “We anticipate that based on the water levels, this will translate into a load management regime starting on 15th December 2022 of up to a maximum of six (6) hours daily until the water levels improve.”

He said the Kariba Lake is designed to operate between 475.50m and 488.50m of water above sea level (asl) for purposes of hydropower generation. The water allocation is done considering the need to sustain reservoir operations at Kariba.”

“For the year 2022, the ZRA allocated a combined total of Forty-Five Billion Cubic Meters (45 BCM) of water to ZESCO and ZPC for power generation at the Kariba Complex. The allocation was to be shared equally between ZESCO Limited and Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) with each utility to utilize 22.5 Billion Cubic Meters of water respectively for the year 2022,” he said.

Mr Kapala said it is projected that if the current power generation and subsequent water utilization continues, the remaining water for power generation at the Kariba complex, also referred to as live storage, will not be sufficient for power generation beyond mid-December 2022.

“Against this background, there is need to implement measures aimed at rationing the water in the lake in order to avoid a complete shutdown of electricity generation activities at the Kariba Complex.”

He said the proposed measures will be phased and revisited from time to time over the next four months in order to ensure security of electricity supply and mitigate the impact on the economy.

“Zambezi River Authority has with immediate effect, directed Zimbabwe Power Company to immediately ensure that Power generation activities at the South Bank Power Station are reduced to a maximum of 300MW instead of 600MW, while ZESCO Limited will reduce generation at Kariba North Bank Power Station to a maximum of 800MW, until further review of the substantive Hydrological outlook at lake Kariba will be undertake,” he said.

“ZESCO will optimize generation at all its hydro power stations in Zambia (Kariba North Bank, Victoria Falls, Small Hydros, Kafue Gorge and Kafue Gorge Lower power stations). It is expected that this will complement the generation from the Kariba Complex to Mid-January 2023 when the water inflows are expected to start improving in the Kariba reservoir.“

49 COMMENTS

  1. My family overwhelmingly voted for Upnd because among the reasons the PF was telling lies that load shedding was due to lower levels of water at the Kariba Dam.
    I have reminded them of this and one of them simply told me that it’s due to the PF’s poor governance that the Kariba Dam is still empty.
    I gave up.

    21
    2
  2. Guys,
    I have a pragmatic roadmap to keep Lake Kariba at a normal operating level throughout the year, despite the meteoric precipitation during that year. My plan entails restoring the riparian springs to release water into the Zambezi River throughout the year. This will be done by planting indigenous trees spaced 5m apart along the upper 650 kms of the Zambezi River. These trees will arrest rainfall runoff and allow the water to percolate down to the water table (phreatic surface). A recharged water table will assist the riverside springs to flow all year-round releasing water into the river. A stopgap measure will entail pushing up an earthen bund=wall to carry out the same function of arresting rainfall runoff. My cost estimate is US$6m and a time period of 4-5 years.

  3. Africans can be very useless………….

    You have sun shine almost 10/365, free energy………..

    Yet you fail to harness , because it requires some initial ground work………..

    12
    5
  4. Oh dear, oh dear, fancy a poster called Kaizer Zulu suggesting this is a replay of what his crowd did. The irony! Look at the curves. The 2018-19 curve (actually a straight line) highlights how the PF emptied the dam to illegally export power (where’s the cash?). This year’s curve unequivocally shows that the lack of catchment run-off is the problem. The difference is that under the current government the Minister of Energy actually takes firm action rather than sits in denial whilst the PF milked the system. Nice Union Jack you’ve got there Kaizer.

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  5. So far upnd is renaging on most of its promises such as fuel cost, electricity cost, POA, and now load shedding. Only place they have succeeded is removal of cadres. Even bringing down the exchange rate is not working anymore as the rate is climbing daily.

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  6. NEVER make promises on matters that depend on nature. You should never say that there will be no loadshedding when I become President. Farming also depends on weather.

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    1
  7. IMF are you reading this?

    Now you see why the outside has to audit the Defense.

    Tell me six hours without electricity if that’s not national security?

    GRZ your exclusion and your political parties what’s going on?

    6
    3
  8. Power is what drives any modern economy. Any serious government would make power a priority. By now Zambia should have harnessed its abundant sunshineand wind to compliment hydro. Zambia’s neighbours Mozambique has some of the world’s largest gas reserves a plan should have been made to exploit these. Angola has some ofthe world’s biggest oil reserves and crude just crude can bbe used for power generation. If you dont have power GDP automatically falls. Unemployment sets in the economy goes into recession. If you dont have leadership you will be putting out fires all the time when you could have prevented them

  9. Incompetent government…I thought the president said no more load shedding..when he went to commission the turbine generator and he said we have dealt with load shedding within a year.. What is happening lie lie lie lie

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  10. Is that going to be our Christmas gift since this will get underway on the 15 of December? Hope you not exporting power at our expense.

  11. Mr. Kapala please share with the nation a Mitigatiom Risk Plan to prevent the imminent load-shedding. We are all aware of climate change-global warming and adverse impact on water which would impact power should water reduce in Kariba dam. There should have been plan B. This is just my view, and merely asking.

  12. Among others, a water conservation awareness campaign should have been in place long before the imminent load-shedding to prevent speedy water reduction in the Kariba dam? This should be a conserted effort for all not only the government? Thinking ahead would lead to preventative measure – my thoughts……

  13. Dear Ba Editor,
    Why should my intellectual discourse on restoring operating water level in Lake Kariba still awaiting adjudication since my 02 December posting?
    Who’s brokering such mediocrity?

  14. Guys,
    I have a pragmatic roadmap to keep Lake Kariba at a normal operating level throughout the year, despite the meteoric precipitation during that year. My plan entails restoring the riparian springs to release water into the Zambezi River throughout the year. This will be done by planting indigenous trees spaced 5m apart along the upper 650 kms of the Zambezi River. These trees will arrest rainfall runoff and allow the water to percolate down to the water table (phreatic surface). A recharged water table will assist the riverside springs to flow all year-round releasing water into the river. A stopgap measure will entail pushing up an earthen bund=wall to carry out the same function of arresting rainfall runoff. My cost estimate is US$6m and a time period of 4-5 years.
    PS: I’m using…

  15. Too much complicence in this govt,stop lying and start to perform we are tired of your stories.If PF said the load shedding by then was due to low water levels,how do you justify your self ba Kapala ati it is due to low water level when your frends said this you refused.

  16. Too much complecense in this govt,stop lying and start to perform we are tired of your stories.If PF said the load shedding by then was due to low water levels,how do you justify your self ba Kapala ati it is due to low water level when your frends said this you refused.

  17. Some of us expected this………..

    Typical of Africans……..no forward planning.

    You spend billions of hydro , yet you chop down all the tress in water catchment areas……….??

    You have free energy, solar 10/365, yet you fail to harness ???

    Just live in darkness…………

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  18. Ubufi, ati we have “ended load shedding within one year”
    It appears that the chickens have indeed come home to roost.

    • I call out incompetence no matter where it is………….

      With 10/365 of sunshine , it is time this UPND GRZ differentiates itself from the incompetence of PF,
      which ……….

      We advised some 7 years ago to start a solar manufacturing industry in zambia………..

  19. Very disappointing. One step forward and 10 steps backwards. I foresee this nation being worse than Sri Lanka because people like lying. The forget lies have short legs.

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