Home » Education » CONTRIBUTION OF KARIBA DAM TO ZIMBABWE’S POWER GENERATION FALLS TO 36 PCT

The Kariba hydro-electric dam on the Zambezi River is now contributing just 36 per cent of total electricity into Zimbabwe's national grid becauase of the persistent low water levels at the dam, according to statistics from the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).

Statistics from both the Zambezi River Authority and the ZPC show that levels of the lake behind the dam at this time of the year are lower than during the same period last year. By the end of last week, the lake level had dropped by 0.08 metres to 479.79 metres while during the same period last year it was at 480.42 metres.

According to the ZPC, daily power generation statistics as at 7.30 am local time on Monday, the lake level had further dropped to 479.69 metres.

On Tuesday, the Kariba Dam hydro-electric power plant, which has a capacity to produce 750 megawatts (MW), was producing only 375 MW of the total 1,033 MW produced by Zimbabwe's power stations.

"Units 1, 3 and 6 are currently switched off for water conservation," said the ZPC.

The Hwange power plant, which runs on coal, produced 612 MW of electricity, contributing 56 per cent to the national grid, while the other small thermal plants in Harare and Bulawayo contributed 3.0 per cent and 2.0 per cent respectively.

The Munyati thermal power station in Kwekwe in Midlands Province was not producing at all due to low coal stocks.

Low internal power generation has forced Zimbabwe to supplement local electricity with imports from neighbouring countries' power utilities, prompting the government to set about building new power stations as well as expanding existing ones to bridge the power deficit in the country.

An emergency diesel power plant has already come on stream, contributing 100 MW to the national grid and the government says internal power supplies will begin to increase in 2017 if on-going power plant expansion projects are completed on time.

A lack of investment in the energy sector has seen the country battling perennial power shortages.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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