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Zambia drops power imports

Zambia has suspended power imports from neighbouring countries, in favour of boosting its own. The state-run power utility aised generation capacity to 710 megawatts (MW) after removing huge masses of dead weeds that were blocking water flow into a major power dam. Zambia had been importing power from other southern ...

Zambia has suspended power imports from neighbouring countries, in favour of boosting its own.

The state-run power utility aised generation capacity to 710 megawatts (MW) after removing huge masses of dead weeds that were blocking water flow into a major power dam.

Zambia had been importing power from other southern African countries since last week, after low river flows caused a power deficit at Kafue Gorge power station, reducing power supplies to industries and households.Generation capacity, which had dropped to 400 MW rose to 710 MW, after the utility removed hippo grass and water hyacinth that had blocked the water.

"As at now our generation capacity is 710 MW and we have suspended imports of power from within the Southern Africa Power Pool," said Christopher Nthala, Zesco Ltd's director for generation and transmission.

Zambia's total power generation is expected to reach 1,630 MW once Kafue Gorge, the country's biggest power plant, is fully operational. The country's total power demand now stands at 1,450 MW, following the suspension of copper mines production in 2008.

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