In Zambia, the energy deficit has increased by almost 20% since September, going from a shortage of 690 MW to 810 MW according to Zesco, the national electric company.
According to Patrick Mwila, the company’s executive director, the country now depends on imports of electricity from the Southern Africa Energy Pool to meet its needs. The 300 MW import agreement concluded with South Africa has indeed expired and will not be renewed.
In March 2020, the Kariba hydroelectric power station, the largest electricity production unit in the country, had a filling level of 12% of its reservoir. At the same time in 2019, the filling level was 43% for an ideal level of 69%. Zesco also announced that it has already used 25% of the water resources of the Zambezi river allocated to it by the regulatory authority on behalf of the year 2020.
“It is important that water resources are managed carefully to guarantee electricity production,” said Fidelis Mubiana, director of electric production at Zesco.
To resolve this deficit, the country has started the construction by a Chinese company of a 750 MW power plant. But the work was halted due to the blocking of employees in China, following their New Year’s leave due to the Coronavirus.
Pending the resolution of this deficit, the electric company favors the supply of mining companies which are the main consumers of energy in the country.
Source: Agence Ecofin