GOVERNMENT is next week scheduled to sign contracts for additional 200 megawatts (MW) emergency power supply from four inland thermal power plants to help cushion the power deficit in Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces.
Minister of Energy and Water Development Dora Siliya said at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that Government is also next week expected to award contracts for the procurement of 300 MW from solar power plants.
“The government, through Zesco, contracted 148MW emergency power from Aggreko. This power, which is from a gas power plant in Mozambique, started flowing on Wednesday, September 9 last year and is being delivered daily from 06:00 hours to 22:00 hours.
“The cost for this power is US$13.1 million per month. However, from January this year, this emergency power supply by Aggreko has dropped to 40MW as the company had earlier committed 108MW to other customers,” Ms Siliya said.
She said it is in this view that Government is this year putting in place additional interventions aimed at cushioning the shortage of power in the country expected to cost US$1.2 billion.
Ms Siliya said to reduce the national deficit further, 200MW will be imported from Karpowership of Turkey, which will be docked at the Port of Nacala in Mozambique.
She said Government is also spending US$20 million on the procurement and distribution of energy-saving bulbs.
Ms Siliya also directed Zesco Limited to immediately revert to the old electricity tariffs in line with President Lungu’s directive.
She also directed Zesco and the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) to immediately find ways of effecting reasonable tariffs for domestic users by February 1 this year.
Ms Siliya said ERB with the support of the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) will soon embark on an industry-wide cost of service study, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.