Zambia's power utility upbeat on ending power cuts

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LUSAKA, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Zambia's power utility on Thursday expressed optimism that the current power deficit the country was facing will come to an end.

Patrick Mwila, Director for Strategy and Corporate Affairs, said power imports from South Africa as well as the commencement of electricity supply by the country's sole coal-power plant, Maamba collieries Limited, have resulted in some reduced levels of power cuts.

He told reporters that despite the current electricity shortage standing at 810 megawatts, the situation was likely to improve following the rains which may result in increased water levels in the country's hydropower reservoirs.

According to him, the country's electricity generation had reduced significantly following poor rains adding that the power utility was currently implementing power projects expected to be completed next year which will boost generation.

The power utility expects to add more than 700 megawatts of electricity to the national grid by next year after commissioning new power plants.

Zambia has suffered power cuts due to overreliance on hydropower plants whose water levels have ebbed significantly following poor rains.

Last month, the country began importing 300 megawatts of electricity from South Africa but the power utility said it was facing challenges in importing the full amount of electricity because it has to compete with other countries such as Zimbabwe which were also importing electricity from South Africa. Enditem

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