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KCM, Zesco in debt talks

KCM, Zesco in debt talks

By GIDEON NYENDWA

TO avert a blackout that would lead to a disruption of production, KCM has engaged Zesco Limited not to restrict power to the mine as planned.

This follows an announcement by Zesco that it would start restricting power to KCM owing to the US$173 million debt the mining giant owes the power utility company.

Zesco Corporate Affairs Manager, John Kunda confirmed that KCM had engaged the power utility over the debt and plans to restrict supplies but that the talks were ongoing.

Dr. Kunda said KCM had responded to the announcement and went to Zesco so that they could reach an agreement which was just awaiting finalisation.

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“We are in conversation with them, that is why we did not restrict power,” he said in an interview.   

Dr Kunda said they could not restrict power to KCM so that they could reach an agreement because they could not restrict power when the customer had responded.

“Zesco cannot take any action until the conclusion of the said matter when the customer has responded,” said Dr Kunda.

Earlier, Zesco announced that it had commenced power restrictions to KCM due to the outstanding arrears the mining firm has.

The company had directed Copperbelt Energy Corporation to only supply 80 megawatt until further notice.

Dr Kunda said disputed invoices and the inability to pay, by mining companies such as KCM, FQM as well as the CRC, had resulted in these entities owing Zesco a combined US$886 million as at August 2021.

He said this had compounded the financial challenges being faced by the power utility company.

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