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Zesco losing US$1billion


ZESCO and ERB must disclose how much the power utility firm will lose in the consent judgement recently entered between the entities and the seven mining firms in the country, PF presidential aspirant Emmanuel Mwamba has said.

He said Zesco was losing over US$1 billion as a result of a consent judgement that was entered between the company and seven mining firms over increased tariffs.

Mr Mwamba said in 2015, seven mining companies sued ERB for allegedly unlawfully allowing Zesco and the Copperbelt Energy Company (CEC) to increase tariffs.

The mining firms include Lumwana, Kansanshi, Lubambe, Mopani, Chibuluma, NFC Africa and Chambeshi Metals challenged ERB, Zesco and CEC for increasing tariffs despite the bulk agreements made between Zesco and CEC.

ERB, Zesco and CEC entered into a Consent Judgement with the seven mines and the mines don’t have to pay the billions owed since 2015.

Mr Mwamba said if Lumwana alone did not pay US$228million, what about the other six mines?

“Further, ERB and Zesco have to explain if the tariffs will reverse to the ridiculous charge of 3 cents per Kilo Watts from the 10.5% prescribed in 2015, and 2016,” he said.

Mr Mwamba said in 2014, Zesco obtained approval from the ERB to increase electricity tariffs for the mine companies to 28 percent under the bulk supply agreement.

Another increment for the mine houses was made in 2016.

Mr Mwamba said the mining companies consume over 50% of power generated by Zesco. 

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