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Drought Forces Zambia to Start Power Cuts

  • Zambezi river flows are comparable to worst drought on record
  • Copper producers account for more than half of power use
The Kariba hydropower dam.
The Kariba hydropower dam.Source: Bing Maps

Zambia will start electricity-supply restrictions immediately after one of the worst droughts on record caused plunging water levels at the hydropower dams it relies on for almost all its supplies, the state-owned power utility said.

“In view of the power deficit, Zesco Ltd. intends to commence load management to restrict supply,” the company said in a notice dated May 17. It didn’t provide details as to how severe the shortage is, and will meet stakeholders from Wednesday to brief them on the deficit, according to the notice.