By Kalende Nyati, Lusaka

THE first time Zambia experienced load shedding in 2008 it was due to demand for power outracing the installed capacity at the time and Government through Zesco Limited had to work round the clock to increase generation.

At the time, Kariba Hydro Power Station had four machines, which collectively produced 600 megawatts (MW), Kafue Gorge had six machines, which produced 900MW and Victoria Falls had an installed capacity of 108MW.

This necessitated the need to expand power generation under the power rehabilitation programme resulting in Kariba Hydro Power Station increasing generation to 720MW and later to 1080MW.

Kafue Gorge increased to 990MW and expansion of mini hydro stations across the country and the exploration of greenfield projects such as the 120 MW Itezhi-Tezhi project, which is a public private partnership with Tata Africa Group.

Years of investments in hydropower projects such as the expansion of the Kariba North Bank Hydro Power Station and Kafue Gorge have paid off.