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Low water levels lead to power cuts in Zimbabwe

  • 4 months ago (2019-05-10)
  • David Flin
Africa 195 Hydropower 24

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has said that the recent wave of power cuts being experienced across the country are the result of reduced generation capacity at Kariba Hydropower Plant. This has been caused by dwindling water levels.

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The addition of 300 MW to the national grid last year after the expansion of Kariba South Hydropower Plant had stabilised the electricity supply situation in the country.

ZEDTC said: “While normal generation has been subsisting up to now, the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has reduced water allowance to ZPC from 19 billion cubic metres to 16 billion cubic metres for 2019. This is to enable the plant to be operational until the next rainy season. To this end, electricity generation at Kariba Power Station will thus be reduced to an average of 358 MW from the planned average of 542 MW as a direct result of this water allocation reduction, and this has led to a power supply gap.”

The power utility said that due to low inflows into Lake Kariba in the 2018/19 season, the water supply situation and power generation at Kariba will be reviewed as the year progresses. It said that generation at Hwange Power Station, which has an installed capacity of 920 MW and the country’s three small thermal power stations, Harare, Bulawayo, and Munyati, remain problematic due to the old age of the plants.