Lusaka, Zambia — The Zambian government on Friday announced that it has halted electricity exports to some neighboring countries due to reduced power generation capacity the southern African country was facing.
Minister of Energy Peter Kapala, however, said the government will not completely do away with exports in order to maintain existing power markets, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, the state broadcaster, quoted him as saying.
The minister said that the government was alive to the disruptions caused by the ongoing load shedding but was cautious to ensure that there was no complete shutdown. The government was working on bringing on board other power producers such as the 5-MW Ndola Energy Power Plant in Copperbelt Province and the fifth 120-MW generator at the Kafue Lower Gorge Power Station.
On Thursday, President Hakainde Hichilema said discussions were ongoing to find short-term solutions to the ongoing electricity crisis in order to avoid reversing the gains made so far in reviving the economy.
In remarks delivered through Anthony Bwalya, the presidential spokesperson, the Zambian president said among the discussions was power export agreements with some neighboring countries.
On Wednesday, the country’s power utility, Zesco Limited, announced a 12-hour daily rotational load-shedding exercise due to a drastic reduction in available water at the Kariba North Bank Power Station, the country’s largest power plant.
The power utility said in a statement that the power station’s power generating capacity has been reduced from its installed 1,080 MW to below 400 MW.
The situation has been worsened by the removal of a 150-MW generator at the coal-powered Maamba Collieries Limited Power Plant for routine annual maintenance from Jan. 4 until Jan. 20.