ZESCO is anticipated to begin its rotational load shedding exercise tomorrow as a result of the Kariba reservoir’s critically low water levels.
This year’s exercise will take place from January 3 to January 25.
According to a press release from the corporate affairs division, the Kariba reservoir’s critically low water levels have caused a significant decrease in the amount of water that can be used to generate energy at the Kariba North Bank Power Station.
“As at 31 December 2022, the water level was at 475.60 meters above sea level, a situation that has necessitated the reduction of generation at the 1080MW Power Station facility to below 400MW, and thereby affecting the ability to meet the system load/customer power demand, especially during morning and evening peak demand periods,” reads the statement.
Zesco added that a planned outage of a 150 MW generator at Maamba Collieries Limited Power Plant for routine annual maintenance scheduled to take place from the 4th to the 20th January 2023 will further exacerbate its inability to meet the demand for electricity.
“The compounded generator outage at Maamba Coal Thermal Power Plant coupled with the critical low water level at Kariba reservoir will lead to ZESCO carrying out a rotational Load Shedding exercise which will now commence on Tuesday, 3rd to 25th January 2023,” it said.
The company did note that ZESCO would work to maximize energy production at all other power generating stations so as to protect the integrity and safety of the power system in order to lessen the consequences of load shedding.
“ZESCO will continuously notify its customers and the public on the power availability status through various electronic and print media houses. As a safety precaution, customers are advised to treat all power supply lines to be live, as power may be restored before the scheduled time,” reads the statement.