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Issue 451 - 08 December 2021

Zambia: Zesco board refreshed

Subscriber

The government has appointed a new six-member board of directors at national utility Zesco. Zesco’s board had previously comprised the executive management.

Zambia
Free

Energy minister Peter Kapala said the Indeni Oil Company refinery in Ndola was not closing but rather was undergoing maintenance, with the goal of improving performance.

Zambia
Issue 449 - 05 November 2021

Zambia eyes closure of sole oil refinery

Subscriber

The government may shut the long troubled Indeni refinery and instead build a new pipeline to import finished petroleum products, as it tries to rescue state finances and agree an IMF package, writes Chiwoyu Sinyangwe.

Zambia
Subscriber

The Hichilema government says it wants to resolve the long-running dispute between Zesco and CEC, but the duelling companies continue to operate in parallel universes of competing claims around tariffs and arrears, while state miners’ financial shortfalls add to problems, write Dan Marks and Chiwoyu Sinyangwe.

Zambia
Issue 448 - 24 October 2021

Zesco’s debt balloons to $3.5bn

Free

State utility Zesco’s debts have reached $3.5bn – $1bn more than previously thought – due to a combination of rising liabilities to independent power producers (IPPs), long-running disputes with mining firms and the depreciation of the local currency, according to energy minister Peter Kapala.

Zambia
Subscriber

Controversy continues to dog financing from China, the world’s largest bilateral lender by a distance. Its debt provision has transformed the African funding landscape over the past two decades: according to African Energy Live Data, $38bn of Chinese investment was committed to power projects across the continent between 2014 and 2019 alone.

Botswana | DR Congo | Uganda | Guinea | Zambia | Equatorial Guinea | Congo Brazzaville
Subscriber

State utility Zesco’s failure to pay local and international bulk power suppliers on time is costing it more than $70m/yr in penalty charges, according to a government audit. Zesco owed local and cross-border power suppliers a total of $797.7m as of 31 December, with amounts “outstanding for periods ranging from 366 days to 1,767 days,” the Office of the Auditor General report said.

Zambia
Subscriber

Africa GreenCo’s selection of the 25MW Ilute solar PV project in Sesheke as its pilot project is a major step in the developer’s efforts to demonstrate the bankability of its intermediary offtaker model. It comes amid renewed interest in Zambia’s power potential following Hichilema’s election win, writes David Slater

Zambia
Subscriber

President Hichilema’s new government plans to increase electricity and petrol prices in moves to restore Zambia’s fiscal fitness but which worry a majority of Zambians. To limit the pain, the UPND administration is seeking other ways of turning around insolvent utility Zesco, senior sources told Chiwoyu Sinyangwe in Lusaka.

Zambia
Subscriber

The newly elected government of President Hakainde Hichilema is hoping to agree an International Monetary Fund (IMF) package to stabilise foreign exchange reserves and enhance Zambia’s credibility as it seeks to renegotiate with lenders.

Zambia
Subscriber

Political change via the ballot box in Zambia has been widely welcomed. The focus for newly-elected President Hakainde Hichilema is to aggressively restructure government debt and fight corruption to spur economic development in a significant about-turn from the outgoing Lungu administration. If successful, this could provide headroom for social spending and help to restore donor and investor confidence, writes Chiwoyu Sinyangwe in Lusaka and African Energy staff.

Zambia
Subscriber

Zambia’s incoming administration is well aware of the urgent need to address the dire financial position of the vertically integrated state utility Zesco. The restructuring of Zesco to improve the utility’s operations, and increase its autonomy and efficiency to ensure long-term financial sustainability was high on the United Party for National Development (UPND)’s campaign agenda.

Zambia
Subscriber

In the last ten years, Zambia has witnessed a number of disputes in the power sector, the bulk of which have revolved around utility Zesco. Under the new administration, the situation could become clearer – and more encouraging for investors.

Zambia
Subscriber

The Lower Kafue Gorge project is set for commissioning in the coming days, as President Lungu continues his strategy of heavy investment in transport and power infrastructure in the run-up to polling day. However, if challenger Hakainde Hichilema prevails in the August election there are likely to be significant changes for state utility Zesco and for the dispute involving Copperbelt Energy Corporation, writes Chiwoyu Sinyangwe.

Zambia
Subscriber

The Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) has gone to the Lusaka High Court seeking a judicial review to halt the government’s latest attempts to seize its transmission line network, including those it jointly owns with Democratic Republic of Congo’s Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel).

Zambia