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Zambia Cuts Power Supply To 12 hours Daily Due To Low Dam Levels

ZAMBIA has reduced its power supply to just 12 hours per day, citing low dam water levels as the primary reason. This additional four-hour cut leaves consumers with staggered six-hour periods of electricity each day.

Energy Minister Peter Kapala announced the increase in ‘load shedding’ hours, stating it was necessary to ensure electricity supply until the year’s end. ‘The water available for electricity generation at the Kariba Dam was at 39 percent as of May 14,’ Kapala said, noting the dam is currently generating only 166 megawatts of its 1,080-megawatt capacity.

The drought, exacerbated by the El Nino weather pattern, has severely affected Zambia, the continent’s second-largest copper producer. To address the shortfall, the nation has started importing 188 megawatts of power and reclaimed 160 megawatts from export contracts.


‘In addition to that, Zesco Limited has clawed back power from export contracts to a total of 160 megawatts. Notable steps are those taken by customers such as First Quantum Minerals to import power, a move that will ease pressure on the grid,’ Kapala added.

President Hakainde Hichilema has directed all government institutions to shift to solar energy to reduce the strain on the national grid. Hydropower, accounting for 85 percent of Zambia’s 3,777-megawatt capacity, remains the primary source of the nation’s electricity generation.

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