Drought limits production of hydroelectric power in Mozambique

5 May 2017

The Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric Dam (HCB) will reduce electricity production due to the low level of water in its reservoir, caused by a drought in the last few years in the sub-region, announced the chairman of the company that operates the dam on the Zambezi river in the Mozambican province of Tete.

The water in the reservoir will be rationed, and the company will shut down two of its five turbines to produce electricity, lowering output to 1,200 megawatts.

Information available on the company’s website for 2 May said that the water level in the reservoir is 319.9 metres (compared to average sea level), which is an improvement on the 312 metres recorded at the end of 2016, the lowest level of the last 26 years.

Half of the electricity produced in 2016 was sold to South Africa’s public electricity company, Eskom, about 4% was exported to Zimbabwe and the rest was consumed in Mozambique.

The newspaper also reported that the drought is affecting other dams, such as the Pequenos Libombos dam, which supplies water to the capital, Maputo.

Data from the Mozambican National Water Resources Management Office shows that the reservoir of this dam is at 28% capacity at the end of the rainy season, forcing restrictions on water supply. (macauhub)