By SILUMESI MALUMO
COPPERBELT Energy Corporation (CEC) should not resort to sabotage after the company failed to reach a deal with Zesco on the Power Bulk Agreement because Government will step in to safeguard national security interests, the Energy Forum has said.
Energy Forum chairperson Johnston Chikwanda, in an interview yesterday, said if the corporation took a route which would injure the mines, Government would act to safeguard the economy.
Mr Chikwanda appealed to CEC to allow the electricity to reach the customers while the two companies work out alternative measures to resolve the impasse.
Minister of Energy Mathew Nkhuwa during a press briefing on Tuesday, said Government would not take it lightly if there would be any sabotage due to the failed agreement on the power deal.
Mr Chikwanda said it was unfortunate that CEC and Zesco had failed to reach a mutually acceptable power supply deal. He said it was expected that it was not going to be a smooth separation between the two companies though it still remained possible to resolve their issues.
“With Zesco stopping to sell electricity to CEC, CEC’s main income would be from charging Zesco for using CEC’s infrastructure (transmission charges) on the Copperbelt in order to remain viable.
He said gaining full insight in this transmission charge which was also known as wheeling charge or transmission charge and assessing whether it is realistic or not was a matter for the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) which was not sadly not part of the engagements. And commenting on ERB, Mr Chikwanda said this was why the Board should be proposed to examine to what each party wanted to charge each other for use of its transmission lines but that ERB was incapacitated due to inadequacies in the current Energy Regulation Board Act.
By SILUMESI MALUMO