By Patricia Mbewe
Maamba Collieries ltd has relocated its pumps to a new location in the Kariba Lake to provide water essential for the boilers of its 300-megawatt power plant following falling water levels in Kariba.
Maamba Collieries runs two power generating units, with a capacity of 150 megawatts, each of which consumes about 9,000 cubic meters of water a day when running at full capacity.
Low rainfall during the last wet season caused water levels at the primary location of the pump station in Lake Kariba to drop dramatically from the usual 9-metre depths to zero levels leading to the water at the pumps running dry.
Maamba Development Trust Manager Jethro Sikalunda has said in a statement that mindful of the power crisis in the country and the need to generate essential power, the company redeployed its pumps to a new location in order to keep the thermal plant of the country’s largest independent power producer operating at full capacity and avoid further load-shedding.
Mr. Sikalinda however said the water at the temporary pump station set up about 400 meters from the original suction point, also dried up last year, despite dredging efforts to sustain water depths.
He explained that despite dredging, the temporary pumping site also ran dry, forcing yet another relocation of the pumps further up the lake in deeper waters.