The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has increased water allocation for power generation at Kariba by 17.4% to 27 billion cubic metres (BCM) from the current 23 BCM following increased inflows into Kariba Dam during the first half of the year.
ZRA, manages the Zambezi River waters and maintains the Kariba Dam complex on behalf of the governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia. It was established in 1987 as a successor power firm to the Central African Power Corporation, which was jointly owned by the governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia when they were still part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, which was dissolved in 1963.
The upward revision of the water allocation for the year 2020 means that both the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and Zambia Electricity Supply Authority (ZESCO), the two power stations which share the water resource at Kariba for power generation will have an allocation of 13.5 BCM each from the current 11.5 they were allowed to use.
ZPC operates the Kariba South Power Station and ZESCO manage Kariba North Bank Power Station.
Kariba South Power Station was generating less than 300 megawatts (MW), out of a total installed capacity of 1 050MW daily, while ZESCO was also producing up to 300MW from an installed capacity of 1 080MW.
At full capacity, Kariba Dam can hold about 65 billion cubic metres of water.
“Following a review of the hydrological outlook at Kariba undertaken at the end of the second quarter of 2020, the Authority has since increased the water allocation for power generation operations at Kariba by four billion cubic metres,” ZRA CEO Munyaradzi Munodawafa said.
He added: “As per the agreed operational framework for Kariba, the additional water allocation will be shared equally between ZPC and ZESCO for their respective power generation operations at Kariba.
“This is an upward revision of the combined water allocation for the year 2020 from 23 BCM to 27 BCM.”