THE Kariba North Bank Power Station is still far from reaching its maximum power generation capacity because water levels are currently below the expected level, Mr Edward Simbaya says.
Kariba North Bank Power Station manager Edward Mr Simbaya said this yesterday at Kariba North Bank Hydro Power Station in Siavonga.
He said despite the power plant receiving a rise in water levels of about two centimetres per week, the station was only generating between 35 to 45 percent of its normal power generation capacity.
Mr Simbaya, however, said the water levels in the Kariba dam were expected to slightly increase in the next two months.
And station Engineer Mahaku Maloza said the station was currently using three machines to generate power, of which two were used during off peak and the other during peak hours.
Mr Maloza said the country had experienced some good rainfall though it came so late. As such, the water levels were still too low to enable the station generate power.
He said currently the water levels were at 379 metres when it’s supposed to be at 481 metres, of which the station needed about 100 metres to reach the maximum water levels.
Mr Maloza said the country was expected to start generating power to the most demanding areas such as Lusaka and the Copperbelt when Maamba Coal mines starts operating which was expected to supply about 300 megawatts.
ZESCO Limited invited 30 ordinary citizens and journalists to the Kariba dam for them to appreciate the messages the utility company was spreading that load shedding had something to do with low water levels and not turbines as alleged by some sections of society.
ZESCO spokesperson Henry Kapata encouraged the citizens to ask the engineers as many questions as possible so that they could share information with the general public.
Among several questions posed to Zesco Limited were the alleged sub-standard turbines suggesting that they permitted more water than the old ones and the assumptions that Kariba dam was full to capacity.
Mr Kapata noted that rumour mongering had put the company in a very awkward position hence stepping up with massive sensitization.