Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Zambia begins experiencing rotational load shedding


Zambia will today begin experiencing rotational load shedding as a result of a planned generator outage at Maamba Coal Thermal Power Plant for routine maintenance and a drastic reduction of water for electricity generation at the Kariba North Bank.

ZESCO National Spokesperson Henry Kapata said that rotational load shedding exercise has commenced because as at 31st December 2022, the water level at Kariba Dam was at 475.60 meters above sea level, a situation that has necessitated the reduction of generation at the 1080 megawatts power station facility to below 400megawatts.

Mr Kapata added that this has affected the power utility company’s ability to meet the system load/customer power demand, especially during morning and evening peak demand periods.

“This inability to meet the power demand will further be compounded by the planned outage of a 150 megawatts generator at Maamba collieries limited power plant for routine annual maintenance scheduled to take place from 4th to 20th January 2023,” he explained

Mr Kapata further explained that the situation has been worsened by the planned outage of a 150-megawatts generator at Maamba Collieries Limited power plant for routine annual maintenance scheduled to take place from 4th to 20th January, 2023.

Mr Kapata mentioned that to mitigate the effects of load shedding, ZESCO will endeavor to optimize electricity generation at all other power generating stations to maintain the integrity and safety of the power system while continuously notifying customers and the public on the power availability status through electronic and print media houses.

Meanwhile, an Economist Lubinda Haabazoka has disclosed that load shedding has its own huge negative effects on both households and businesses which does not only increase the cost of doing business and living but it also limits people’s ability to not only do business but to also construct their livelihoods,

Mr Haabazoka mentioned that in 2010, electricity generation capacity was 1800 Megawatts and in 2021 the capacity increased to 3200 Megawatts, this is just generation capacity, actual generation is dependent on the amount of water in rivers, adding that from 2014, Zambia has been experiencing poor rainfall patterns that have also dried up a lot of small streams especially on the Copperbelt, these droughts have had a negative effect on Zambia’s economic growth as the country spent more forex on power imports and also forced companies to reduce production as a result of power cuts.

“Zambia’s population has also not been on standstill. If our population was 12 million in 2012, our population will almost double to close to 20 million people in 2021! This huge growth in population means we need more infrastructure to support the population and power is one of them. The 1800 megawatts power generation capacity was left by Kenneth Kaunda who last built power generating capacity in 1977. That capacity was to support a population of 3 million people,” he said

Mr Haabazoka mentioned that with the coming of multiparty politics, people have become petty and analyse issues only from a political perspective, as they have also lost their ability to create the sense of national identity and self interest for the country. What Zambia now needs is to talk more about infrastructure development, slowing down on this will really make it difficult for the country to even provide schools for the growing population.

“We can’t just wait for God to give us water to generate electricity, we need to use the intelligence God granted us to diversify our energy sources. Europe once started preaching green energy and they are now paying for that this winter! That rhetoric should not consume Zambia. Zambia only has 31% of its population connected to the grid but we are even load shedding. This means we have suppressed power demand! We need to proceed on the path of seeking peaceful nuclear power in order to sustain our growing population and region at large. Ask any sober engineer and they will tell you that the maximum we can harness in terms of hydroelectric power is not more than 5000 megawatts. Our rivers are drying. We are cutting down trees at an alarming rate! We are careless hence no rainfall. If our houses were all connected to electricity with cheap supply, they will only need charcoal for a braii,” Mr Haabazoka stated


  1. A good media house would dispatch a journalist with someone who has technical knowhow, to Kariba dam to confirm the ZESCO statement.

  2. And down stream at Caboro Basa dam its 94% full and running at 99% production, work that out. why because they have real engineers , not engineers with a grade 8 pass. remember Kariba was designed to have 6 turbines not 12 that were built by the China man 10 years ago, the out going water has doubled but the in flow up stream has not increased and will not. Time to build solar farms not nuclear power stations.
    Also LT -Kariba is not 450.6 above sea level that’s the height of the water level behind the dam wall, but the turbine inlet pipes need 450.5m to operate so when it drops below that it will not work due to not enough water pressure. as for the population doubling every decade , time for birth control or we wont have room or food to feed the masses , we already have our begging…

  3. Please dont use the coal plant as an excuse you were going to load shed anyway…its 2023 and we are still depending on Maamba Coal Thermal Power Plant yet we are the first ones at international environmental events reading speeches about climate change and clean energy. It was easy to laugh at PF but UPND came in and continued with the same mediocrity. I doubt Maamba Coal Thermal Power Plant has even been paid off what its owed by ZESCO hence the reason they have a their reasons to undertake maintenance.

  4. @3 Cosmos
    Africa and begging bowls they’re siemens twins, inseparable and loadshedding will become normal just like in Guinea,Ghana,Nigeria even South Africa loadshedding is now normal 2023 and we still struggling with electricity…shame on us

  5. Very soon Zambians will start singing “we used to have electricity 24hrs” just like we are now singing “we used to have ITT supersonic” ‘we used to have Land Rover Zambia motor assembly plant” ” we used to have Lenco Industries” ” we used to have Mansa batteries” we used to have Kawambwa tea” ” we used to Kapiri Glass factory” ” we used to have Mulungushi textiles” ” we used to have NEDCOZ” ” we used to have NIEC stores” ” we used to have Zambia National Wholesale” very soon Zambia will become like Guinea were electricity is only available for 3 hours in a week…so 12 hours of electricity in a month

    • “We used to have One Kwacha to One Dollar” “We used to have the Times of Zambia” “We used to have Cambridge Overseas School certificate” “We used to have Zambia sugar Company”

    • Well maybe its time to stop sitting on our backsides and talking about doing something and instead start doing something like the rest of the world does, forget those dead beat african countries up north, be different.

  6. Maamba shutting down must be due to non payment and not maintenance. We have heard that one before during PF so now we know.

  7. The f00Iish upnd supporting disaporans who persuaded gullible disgruntled youth to vote for upnd, are there abroad enjoying 24 hour electricity e.g. chi tarino, meanwhile you are here with us in zambia in darkness. Me I have generators am not even suffering haha

  8. What is the way foward on the development of Zambia’s Power System & its infrastructure, maintenance and sustainability? What is the way forward on the issue of growing population? What is the way forward on the issue of cutting down trees at an alarming rate? The people of Zambia require foward thinking stakeholders, not just implementing things temporarily without thinking ahead. The issue of load-shedding was an issue of the past, so were the people told.

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