WATER levels at Kariba Dam have risen by 1,94 metres to 482,82m, further consolidating Zimbabwe’s potential to generate more electricity at Kariba Power Station, the country’s biggest hydro-power plant.
According to the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), water levels at Kariba had reached a peak of 482,83m on the 4th of June before dropping to 482,82m three days later, giving a net rise of 1,94m since the last update on March 3 2021.
“This has placed the lake level at 7,32 metres above the Minimum Operating Level (MOL) of 475,50m. The latest record translates to 34,53 Billion Cubic Meters (BCM) or 53,28 percent of usable or live storage,”
said the authority in a latest update.
“Last year on the same date, the lake level was lower at 481,06m with 25,77BCM or 39,77 percent of usable storage.”
It said water allocation for power generation at Kariba Dam has been maintained at 30BCM level for power generation operations for the year 2021.
This means that Zesa and Zesco of Zambia have enough to produce an average of 800MW. As the total outflows, made up of generation outflows plus evaporation, begin to exceed inflows, the lake level is expected to continue declining throughout the remainder of this year’s dry season.
As of yesterday, the country’s power utility was generating 1 365MW from which 885MW were from Kariba against 1 050MW installed capacity.
Zimbabwe’s largest thermal power plant, Hwange was producing 450MW against an installed capacity of 920MW. The country’s small thermal power stations, Munyati and Harare were each generating 15MW while Bulawayo was at zero. Due to aging equipment, the power plants continue to experience constant breakdowns leading to depressed output.