The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) will lose over US$160 million as a result of the current power deficit the country is experiencing.
Chief Government Spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili says US$97 million revenue loss will be as a result of reduced sales to customers and an additional US$70 million revenue loss will be due to reduced sales to distribution customers.
Mr. Kambwili says the power utility firm will incur US$167 million revenue loss while US$60 million will be the cost of power imports between now and December this year.
He said the overall funding gap on reduced generation is pegged at US$116 million.
Mr. Kambwili, who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, disclosed this to the media in Lusaka today shortly after a Cabinet meeting held at State House.
The Minister said ZESCO Limited has been directed to revise the load-shedding programme from two to four hours on a daily basis adding that the programme will be implemented in an equitable manner to ensure that the burden is spread across all areas apart from essential services and operations.
He said short and long-term measures will be taken by ZESCO to alleviate the current power shortage as Cabinet has authorised the importation of 100 megawatts (mw) of power.
He said the power deficit may be cushioned when the 120mw Itezhi-Tezhi power station is commissioned as planned in August 2015 and when the 150mw Maamba Coal powered station is commissioned in November this year.
Mr. Kambwili said Cabinet has in the long-term also directed ZESCO to actively promote the use of renewable energy technologies and implement the Lusiwashi lower hydropower project in Serenje.
At the weekend, President Edgar Lungu toured the Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Bank power stations on a fact finding mission where he directed ZESCO to distribute electricity equitably in view of electricity blues due to the reduced water levels at two power plants.
The President learnt that the maximum power deficit Zambia faces is estimated at 560 megawatts.
ZESCO Limited has embarked on a countrywide power rationing mechanism in order to preserve the limited water available for power generation until the onset of the 2015 rain season.
In another development, Cabinet has also approved the opening of a Consulate-General in Guangzhou City in Guangdong Province in China as Zambia and China maintain diplomatic relations.
Mr. Kambwili said this has been done as the two countries explore the vast opportunities for trade, investment and tourism that the province of Guangdong offers.
And Cabinet has approved the implementation of the Revised National Tourism Policy, revised Sixth National Development Plan (R-SNDP), the revised Decentralisation Policy and the Job Creation and Industrialisation strategy.
Mr. Kambwili said Cabinet has also approved the appointment of a nine member board for the Zambia Centre for Accountancy Studies (ZCAS).