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Hopes among private power producers in Zambia that Zesco might find a way to clear its arrears for electricity are fading, with one source saying “Zesco is technically insolvent.”

Zambia
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Following a series of setbacks for the government this year in its attempt to declare CEC’s network common carrier, there had been hopes a negotiated settlement could be agreed. However, further legal action now looks a certainty, writes Chiwoyu Sinyangwe in Lusaka The Zambian government has made a fresh bid to seize control of Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC)’s transmission and distribution lines by issuing a new statutory instrument (SI) declaring the company’s network as common carrier.

Zambia
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Commissioning of the 750MW Kafue Gorge Lower (KGL) project has been indefinitely delayed despite the first 150MW being completed, as the project’s Chinese partners seeks more financial security from heavily-indebted state utility Zesco.

Zambia
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Zambia’s Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) has unveiled plans to add two further stages of expansion to its Riverside Solar PV plant near its Kitwe headquarters.    

Zambia
Subscriber

Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) has said the Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to delays in the project to develop two 20MW solar PV plants, Garneton North and South, in a consortium with France’s InnoVent. Awarded as part of the German development bank KfW-backed Global Energy Transfer Feed-in Tariff (Get Fit), which tendered 100MW of solar PV capacity in 2018, the Garneton plants were awarded on the basis of tariff bids of $0.048/kWh in April 2019.

Zambia
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The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has said it will not allow Energy Market and Regulatory Consultants (EMRC) to delay the completion of the cost-of-service study further, after the UK-based firm said the Covid-19 pandemic had derailed its projected completion date. The study is expected to help resolve the impasse in the energy and mining sectors and set the tone for Zambia’s migration towards cost-reflective tariffs.

Zambia
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The High Court of Zambia has dismissed a government attempt to prevent the enforcement of a 26 February court ruling which had quashed  energy minister Matthew Nkhuwa’s move to declare Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) as network common carrier. This latest stage in a protracted contractual dispute involving CEC, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and state utility Zesco means CEC can, in theory, try to recover outstanding debt from KCM.

Zambia
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The cash-constrained government has indefinitely shut the 42-year-old Indeni Petroleum Refinery, Zambia’s sole fuel processing plant, as it opts for short-term fuel supply contracts. The move underlines the financing challenges facing President Edgar Lungu’s government. Zambia had been meeting its fuel requirements through its refinery and imports of finished petroleum products through private suppliers.

Zambia
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Kalahari GeoEnergy has commenced the full technical and commercial feasibility study for Phase I of its Bwengwa River geothermal project, chief executive Peter Vivian-Neal told African Energy. The study will run through until September 2021, and a 200kW proof of concept pilot plant is expected to be installed by August 2021. Vivian-Neal confirmed that, subject to the result of the feasibility study and the receipt of statutory and licensing approval, construction is likely to start on the 10MW first phase of the full commercial plant in 2022.

Zambia
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Cape Town-based developer Red Rocket expects its 140MW Roggeveld Wind plant in the Northern Cape to reach commercial operations by end-year and has a number of other projects ready to close, chief executive Matteo Brambilla told African Energy. The company recently achieved commercial operations at the 4MW Kruisvallei hydroelectric power plant, selected under the renewable energy IPP programme (REIPPP) fourth round.

South Africa | Uganda | Zambia
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Attorney General Likando Kalaluka has started the process of appealing the 26 February ruling by the High Court that energy minister Matthew Nkhuwa had acted illegally by declaring the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) network common carrier. On 5 March, the government obtained an ex-parte order restraining CEC from enforcing the ruling. Judge Elita Phiri Mwikisa heard the two parties in her chambers in Lusaka on 22 March and is expected to rule in the second week of April on whether CEC can proceed to enforce the judgment as the government takes the matter to the Court of Appeal.

Zambia
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A judge has ruled that energy minister Matthew Nkhuwa acted illegally by declaring the Copperbelt Energy Corporation network common carrier last year. The ruling has been widely welcomed by the industry but the dispute is by no means over, writes Chiwoyu Sinyangwe in Lusaka.

Zambia
Subscriber

GreenCo Power Services’ request for qualification for a pilot solar project is a significant development, both domestically and regionally. Not only is it one of the first on-grid projects in Africa to be tendered by an entity other than a national utility, but it is also the first such project to be tendered under a private offtaker framework, writes Marc Howard.

Zambia
Issue 433 - 25 February 2021

Zambia: Chinese solar plans suspended

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The impact of coronavirus and concerns about swelling public debt have forced Zambia to indefinitely freeze plans for China to build 600MW of solar capacity. In 2020, Zesco announced a $548m deal for Power China to build three solar PV projects in Chibombo, Chirundu and Siavonga districts on an EPC plus finance basis, but sources within Zesco, the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Finance confirmed to African Energy the project had stalled.

Zambia
Subscriber

Off-grid solar company Solarise Africa announced on 9 February it had signed a partnership agreement with turnkey energy firm Centennial Generating Company. The deal sees Solarise Africa acquire stakes in seven projects in Rwanda, two in Zambia and one in Uganda, spread across the education, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, hospitality and agriculture sectors.

Uganda | Rwanda | Zambia