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Chikwanda calls for Zesco, IPP joint ventures


ENERGY expert, Johnstone Chikwanda has proposed that Zesco should consider entering into joint venture (JV) partnerships with Independent Power Producers (IPP) to enable the national power utility diversify its energy portfolio from hydropower to alternative sources of energy.

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Speaking when he featured on Millennium Television’s Business Day programme dubbed Energy Security and Economic Development, Dr Chikwanda said instead of merely selling power to Zesco, IPPs should enter into joint ventures with the power utility firm for mutual benefit.

“I would want to see a situation where going forward, IPPs enter into joint ventures with Zesco and not just supply to them so that you suffer together the consequences.

“That is a very good model because then it means you rise together and fall together but also it will help to accelerate Zesco’s transitioning to diversifying their sources of energy,” Dr Chikwanda said.

He expressed concern that over 95 percent of Zesco’s revenue was generated through hydropower generation and supply.

Dr Chikwanda said this means that the national power utility firm faces challenges to generate power whenever the country experiences drought.

“But if they diversify through joint venture partnerships as we are seeing, it means that even if they have a challenge with one source of energy, they can still depend on other forms of energy and continue to generate revenue and income but even above that, be able to serve their customers and keeping with their motto of ‘powering the nation’,” Dr Chikwanda said.

He welcome the joint venture partnership between Zesco and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC-MASDAR for the development of the renewable energy in Zambia to a total capacity of two gigawatts starting with the installation of 500 megawatts (MW).

Meanwhile, Dr Chikwanda says it is time for Government to consider a consultative policy assessment process on the viability of the monthly review of fuel pump prices.

“I think the bottom line of this matter is that every policy goes through policy assessment and I think this policy has done over two years now, it was started under the previous administration. I believe that it is time to reconsider by relooking at it, involve all the stakeholders, is this policy working for us or not?” he said.



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