Zambia spends $250m on power imports

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 10:01:29 +0000

 

By Buumba Chimbulu 

ZESCO has spent in excess of US$250 million on the importation of emergency power supplies which are ending this year, company director of finance Saidi Chimya has said.

Mr Chimya said in an interview that Zesco was compelled to spend the colossal amount of money from the time it commenced the emergency power imports to reduce load shedding.

‘‘So far it is in excess of US$250 million. We are importing from about four suppliers, these are the companies we have contracts with,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zesco managing director Victor Mudende said the utility company was prepared to supply all the power needed  locally once the emergency power was withdrawn at the end of 2017 when all contracts were expected to end.

Mr Mudende explained that Zesco had embarked on many projects with a different energy mix which would sustain the demand for power in Zambia.

He said Zesco was working with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in exploiting different types of energy in the industry.

“One of the key things is that we have been trying to increase on the generation. One of the big headaches we had was the generation mix. As Zesco we are almost 99 percent hydro and then when you are hit with the calamity it becomes a problem.

“We have been working with the IDC to deal with solar; so far there are two companies in solar for an additional of 100 MW. For the second phase of the project, Zesco will advertise for a 100 MW,” he said. Mr Mundende said Zesco, in collaboration with the IDC, was working on exploiting the full potential of the Luapula River whose feasibility was done many years ago.

“The Batoka projects this year will commence, which will produce 1,200 MW on the Zambian side and the same megawatts on the Zimbabwean side. “We have partnered with a company in Mozambique and as Government we have already signed the agreement. We will be going into a joint venture of a 1,200 MW plant using coal in Tete,” he said.

Mr Mundende said all these projects, upon completion, would enable Zesco supply enough power to the country even after the emergency power importation had come to an end.

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