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Subscriber

Zesco is proceeding with its legal pursuit of Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) over payments from Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) following the collapse of talks to extend a long- term power supply contract. In September 2019, Zesco announced its intention to sue CEC over a $45m bill for power supplied to KCM, Zambia’s biggest underground mine. Zesco claims that CEC has failed to pay for electricity supplied under their Bulk Supply Agreement (BSA), which expired at the end of March 2020.

Zambia
Subscriber

Liquidity-constrained Zesco is seeking to borrow from the country’s biggest pension fund to complete the 750MW Kafue Gorge Lower (KGL) hydro project. Zesco chairman Mbita Chitala told Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation the utility was in talks with pension funds to finance the transmission line element of the scheme. He did not name the fund in the 21 April interview, but industry sources confirmed the utility was talking to the National Pension Scheme Authority, the country’s biggest pension fund, which the government regularly dips into to pay civil servants’ salaries.

Zambia
Subscriber

Zambia has pledged to maintain electricity supplies to the mining industry despite the expiry of the power supply agreement between Zesco and the privatised Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC).The bulk supply agreement (BSA) expired on 31 March, ending a 23-year-old arrangement for electricity supply to the country’s economic mainstay sector. The government says Zesco will continue supplying power to the Copperbelt for up to 12 months while a long-term solution is sought.

Zambia
Subscriber

Construction of the 750MW Kafue Gorge Lower (KGL) scheme had been expected to be completed in phases this year with the first 150MW turbine on line in April, but timings have been hit by travel restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Zesco generation director Fidelis Mubiana told journalists in Lusaka the utility was still evaluating the impact. “Our main contractor Sinohydro is based in Wuhan, which (was) the epicentre of the coronavirus,” Mubiana said. “We are reviewing, but our focus is to ensure that we commission the plant as soon as possible.”

Zambia
Free

Kleinschmidt Associates has been awarded a contract funded by the US Trade and Development Agency to carry out feasibility studies for the Chilongo and Chimpili hydropower projects. Chilongo is being developed by MPF Development Consultants at Chilongo Falls on the Lufubu River in Kawambwa district, Luapula province. Chimpili is being developed by Bukota Company on the Kalugwishi River in the same district.

Zambia
Subscriber

A general procurement notice has been issued for the $595m Tanzania-Zambia transmission interconnection project. Work includes construction of the 620km 400kV Iringa-Kisada-Mbeya-Tunduma double-circuit transmission line and 400kV Tunduma-Sumbawanga single-circuit line, as well as a 4km 400kV double-circuit line from Tunduma to the Zambian border, which will be energised at 330kV. The Iringa substation will be upgraded from 220kV to 400kV and 400/220/33kV substations will be built at Kisada, Mbeya, Tunduma and Sumbawanga.

Zambia | Tanzania
Issue 409 - 14 February 2020

Zambia: Zesco, CEC plan new BSA

Subscriber

State power utility Zesco and Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) have agreed to come up with a new Bulk Supply Agreement (BSA) to replace the current 20-year power supply deal which expires next month, according to sources close to the negotiations.The BSA makes CEC the single biggest buyer of power from Zesco. The government wanted Zesco to start selling power directly to mining companies in a bid to bolster its finances, while the miners prefer to continue their current agreement with CEC.

Zambia
Issue 408 - 30 January 2020

Zambia: New power law

Subscriber

Concerned by Zesco’s soaring debt to IPPs, Zambia plans to overhaul its electricity sector to bring more transparency and stability in power pricing while increasing private sector participation. The 2019 Electricity Bill currently before parliament aims to liberalise the grid, ending the single-buyer model and reducing Zesco’s dominance of the power sector. Expected to obtain parliamentary approval this year, the new law seeks to regulate the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity so as to improve supply and encourage private sector investment.

Zambia
Subscriber

The influential central committee of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party has called on the Ministry of Energy to resolve an impasse over talks to extend an agreement that allows Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) to buy power in bulk from Zesco for resale to mining companies.“The central committee (of the PF) directed the Ministry of Energy to amicably resolve the impasse between the two institutions. As you might be aware, CEC is single bulk buyer of power from Zesco.

Zambia
Subscriber

The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has engaged UK-based firm Energy Market and Regulatory Consultants (EMRC) to conduct a new power sector cost of service study. Work is expected to be completed by December 2020, but the government intends to raise power tariffs without waiting for its conclusions in order to keep Zesco operating as its costs mount.

Zambia
Subscriber

Zambia’s government announced on 19 November that it had approved the establishment of a creditworthy renewable energy intermediary power offtaker, facilitating the establishment of GreenCo in the country. The intermediary offtaker will sit between Zesco and IPPs, providing a better credit risk to banks by offering risk mitigation and the right to sell power elsewhere in the event of a default.

Zambia
Subscriber

Zambian authorities say they expect to lift fuel pump prices after a fall in the value of the kwacha currency following the start of electricity imports from Eskom. The kwacha has come under pressure after the government announced that it had paid South Africa $27m to import 300MW of emergency power to cushion power outages caused by drought. The kwacha depreciated by 5.6% against the US dollar in November, and on a year-to-year basis it has fallen by 17.6%.

Zambia
Subscriber

Talks to extend an agreement which allows Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) to buy power in bulk from Zesco for resale to mining companies have stalled as disagreements over electricity bills for Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) put further strain on an already acrimonious relationship between the two power utilities.CEC is the single biggest buyer of power from Zesco through the Bulk Supply Agreement (BSA) which expires in March 2020. CEC has been pushing to extend the agreement by 20 years to guarantee reliable supply to its customers.

Zambia
Subscriber

Zambian IPP Mphepo Power has installed a 120-metre meteorological mast to measure the wind potential for a 200MW wind power project that it plans to develop in the Katete district of Eastern Province. The mast was launched on 1 November at a ceremony presided over by energy minister Matthew Nkhuwa. Mphepo plans to develop the Unika I wind farm in a public-private partnership with the Ministry of Energy with the support of the Office for Promoting Private Power Investment and state utility Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation.

Zambia
Subscriber

Zambia is expected to start importing 300MW of power from Eskom on 25 November after making an initial payment of $27m, with the balance of $15m expected to be paid by the end of the month. Power imports are expected to reduce load shedding by two hours a day from the current 16 hours or more.Zambia announced plans in September to import power from South Africa but the deal was delayed after Eskom demanded that Zesco pay upfront – Zambia already owes Eskom R89m ($6m) for power supplied during the 2015-2016 drought.

Zambia