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Lusaka – Zambia is expected to face a major power blackout for a week after the planned shutdown of a key hydropower generator, its national power company announced on Friday.

The power outages will run from Friday midnight until June 5 in order to facilitate rehabilitation of the generator at the 180-megawatt Kariba North Bank, Zambia Electricity Supply Company (Zesco) said.

“This is to ensure that the generator is in good condition in order to assure its continued reliable operations,” said Zesco spokesperson Monica Chisela.

“In view of the foregoing outage, the country is expected to experience increased load shedding particularly during peak periods,” Chisela said.

She said Zambia was unable to secure imports from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo because the interconnector betweeen the two nations had developed a technical fault.

Zambia, like many southern African nations, is facing acute power shortages that has led to frequent electricity rationing. – Sapa-AFP