Dredging of the water reservoir at Kapichira Power Station is progressing well with approximately 600 thousand cubic meters of silt dredged since April 2020.
The water reservoir, which has a total capacity of 9 million cubic meters, with 3.5 million cubic meters of that being active storage, has been silting up for many years due to, among others, environmental degradation along the Shire catchment areas which has seen the dam been filled with silt up to 80% of the active storage capacity. This, in turn, affected power generation because of inadequate water at the reservoir rendering mostly one machine at the station to remain at standstill.
However, with the removal of the 600 thousand cubic meters of silt, normal power generation has resumed.
“We are now having sufficient water in the reservoir and are able to run all the available machines at maximum capacity without stopping them in order to build the pond.” Said Benard Kanyika, Senior Operations Engineer at Kapichira Power Station.
The problem of siltation at Kapichira was exacerbated by the fact that the Power Station did not have a dredger to remove silt. However, under the US$350 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact, a US$7million dredger was procured and a damp site of the Dredged Material was constructed.
The dredger was commissioned and handed over for operations to EGENCO by the contractor on 7 March 2020 with actual dredging operations commencing on 4 April 2020. It operates on a daily basis, for 16 hours, from 06:00hrs to 22:00hrs, until substantial amount of silt has been removed from the reservoir.