12 hours load shedding to be reviewed in October – Kapala

12 hours load shedding to be reviewed in October – Kapala

AS Zambians faces extended power cuts following Energy Minister Peter Kapala announcement of 12 hours load shedding yesterday, he offered a glimmer of hope.

Kapala told journalists yesterday during a facility visit at Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Power Stations, that the government will review the load shedding schedule in October alongside planned interventions to improve the situation.

The drastic increase in load shedding comes as a result of critically low water levels at Kariba Dam, the country’s main source of hydropower.

With the towing of 12 hours of no power, Kapala warned that it will be a tragedy if Zesco was forced to shutdown turbines at Kariba North Bank due to low water levels at the dam.

In the the company of Water and Sanitation Minister Mike Mposha, Zesco management, Energy Regulation Board and Zambezi River Authority, Kapala said government was engaging other energy players to ensure that the economy does not collapse due to the load shedding situation.

“It will be a tragedy if that happens. We will be able now to bring in more diesel generators which will be too expensive. We don’t want to get to that situation.”

“We don’t want to ask our people to start paying more for electricity. So, we hope in next year’s rainfall [season], we will maybe have moderate or better than this year’s, so that we can continue with the solar energy projects that are currently going on,” said Kapala.

He said it was pain to see that the water levels were “very low compared to last year.”

“This time of the year we would have been above were we are. As the result of this reduction in the water levels, we have gone into 12 hours load shedding. We hope to review the situation by October this year, because we are doing some background work.”

He said government was making efforts to build interconnections with countries like Tanzania that have surplus energy for export.

“Right now the only country that have got power which we cannot access is Angola and Tanzania. In Tanzania I am told there is even shutting down some of the hydro power plants. So the only source that we are getting import from is Mozambique. We are also doing other things to see to it that maybe we can get additional power by bringing those mobile ships from Mozambique through Zimbabwe to Zambia.”

“Currently, we have got, a shortfall of 700mega watts.We are hoping that come the next two, three months we will be able to start diesel powered generators located some in Mpika, some in Ndola because that is near the source of the diesel that they will be using.”

Meanwhile, Kariba North Bank Senior Power Station Manager Cephas Museba, warned that the power station could face a complete shutdown if it continues to generate power at its current capacity.

Kalemba May 25, 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *