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State-owned power utility Zesco has appointed Standard Chartered Bank as lead arranger for a $500m bond issue planned by May this year to help clear its debts. According to documents seen by African Energy, Zesco owes suppliers just over $900m, around a third of it to independent power producers (IPPs), and the bond aims to help clear the arrears. The total amount will be raised in two tranches, with $250m-$300m targeted in the first phase.