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Zimbabwe, Zambia cut hydropower output

Zimbabwe and Zambia have reduced hydropower output from Kariba Dam due to drought induced lowering of water levels.

The amount of water allocated for power generation is being cut to 36 billion cubic metres from 38 billion cubic metres, while electricity supplies will be reduced to 890 megawatts from 1 476 megawatts, the Zambezi River Authority said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

Water is currently five metres above the minimum-operating level, it said.

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“This measure is being implemented in order to ensure continued availability of generation into the 2020 season,” said the authority, which is managed by the neighbouring countries’ governments.

Meteorological projections are that most of the Kariba catchment is likely to continue experiencing below-normal rains for the remainder of the 2018-19 rainfall season.

The Kariba hydropower station is Zambia’s biggest electricity source, with capacity of 1 080 megawatts out of state-owned electricity supplier Zesco Ltd.’s total of 2 337 megawatts. — Bloomberg