ZESCO Muzuma substation being upgraded to KV 330 (from KV 220) in order to be connected to the national grid as soon as the Maamba coal plant station is commissioned
ZESCO Muzuma substation being upgraded to KV 330 (from KV 220) in order to be connected to the national grid as soon as the Maamba coal plant station is commissioned

Government must consider partially lifting the suspension of the tariff application made by Power Utility Company Zesco to the Energy Regulations Board, the Zambia Energy Forum has advised.

Zesco Limited has circulated a notice informing the public of the commencement of load shedding due to lower water levels in Lake Kariba and Kafue basin.

The Company has also sought to engage some stakeholders with a view to building some form of consensus on how to minimize the impact of load shedding on the economy.

Johnstone Chikwanda, the Forum Chairperson has urged Zesco to consider engaging government and the Energy Regulation Board with a view to re-activating the tariff application.

Mr. Chikwanda said this should be done whether in totality or in form of an amended version to procure more electricity from Independent Power Producers or import from the region.

He noted that with Zesco depending on hydroelectricity by more than 90 percent, the utility is not well positioned in view of climate variability.

“However, government is commended for acknowledging this vulnerability and embarking on sector reforms which have seen other forms of energy such as thermal and solar being incorporated in the energy mix”, Mr Chikwanda has said.

He has also commended ZESCO for taking a proactive role regarding consultations on how to minimize the impact of load shedding on the economy.

Mr Chikwanda said the circumstances ZESCO finds itself in is very unfortunate and sad because load shedding programme will cost the Company colossal sums of money in lost revenue.

“On the other side, the cost of the impact of load shedding on business cannot be underplayed. Load shedding also affects households. Load shedding affects the bottom line of both Zesco and industry. This will affect GDP to some extent if not well coordinated”, he has said.

Mr Chikwanda noted that what is even more worrying is that it is not clear when the load shedding programme will come to an end because we do not know when the water levels will improve.

He has said it may perpetuate throughout this year and extend to 2020 unless certain measures are agreed upon.

“The state of the energy security in the SADC region is not satisfactory at all given the number of households with no access to energy”, he has said

Mr Chikwanda has said this state of affairs has been aggravated by cyclone Idai in Mozambique which knocked out 900MW from the grid which feeds the region.

He has said that South Africa has also been experiencing some load shedding in recent months and the extent of energy poverty not only in Zambia but Sub Sahara Africa (SSA) is devastating to say the least.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. This guy should SHUT UP. Last time they increased the tariffs by 75%, the story was the tariffs to be cost-reflective. Now they are asking for over 100%. Has Zesco’s cost of production jumped by 100% for them to be asking for this ridiculous increment? I think it’s about time these clowns started publishing audited financial statements so that we see where the money goes. I am sure most of it is spent on personal emoluments for their bloated workforce.

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    • These are Cadres in suits who don’t see the pain any upward tariff adjustment will cause!
      Of course ZESCO is run from State House! Nothing good!

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  2. This is what happens when the guy at the top, given the repsonsiblilty for managing the coutry, has no lights upstairs. The effects of dull leadership are now being felt. When some one tells you that they have no vision, do you surely expect them to give you lights? a person who cannot see is telling you that he will make you see.. my swiss wife is currently working on an alternative energy project for developing african countries and i bet you that she will have contributed more to zambians energy debacle than the entire pf, come election time. sometimes i think she should be allowed to stand for presidency in zambia

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    • if we change our constitution to allow her to stand she might contest it in the future. HH is not indespensable to zambian politics or the upnd. any one is free to challenge him for the leadership position in upnd. he continues to enjoy overwhelming support from the party..

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  3. I think this proposal COULD BE GOOD IF IT MEANT AVOIDING LOAD SHEDDING ALTOGETHER!! What we need is NOT an exorbitant increment BUT SOMETHING TO GUARANTEE POWER STABILITY! It is better I pay slightly more and manage my own consumption than someone denying me power when I need, it is disruptive!! BUT HERE ON LT WE READ THAT MOZAMBIQUE HAS EXCESS 500MW they want Zambia and Zimbabwe to take, WHY NOT TAKE THAT ONE? WHERE IS MAAMBA WITH THEIR ADDITIONAL 300MW THEY PROMISED 2 YEARS AGO? THERE COULD BE ELECTRICITY SOMEWHERE THAT CAN HELP US AVOID LOAD SHEDDING, THE PROBLEM IS SOMEONE WANTS TO STEAL FROM ZAMBIANS BY CHARGING EXCESSIVE TARIFFS UNDER THE GUISE OF “IMPORTED OR THERMAL ELECTRICITY BEING EXPENSIVE”

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  4. That’s why they wanted to increase tariffs to make up for the shortfall in revenue to be collected this year as electricity generation will be low due to low water levels. Nothing to do with being cost reflective.

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  5. Can ZESCO publish its Financial Reports so that we have an idea how this Public utility is being managed / Mismanaged!
    It’s high time we started demanding accountability from those running our public utility firms.
    As long as ZESCO remains mismanaged, no amount of upward tariff adjustment will help! Even an economically lethal dose of 1,000% hike in tariffs won’t make a difference in ZESCO operations!

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  6. You want to fix the problems at ZESCO? Rationalize the way it is staffed!

    There are far too many unproductive workers at ZESCO and far too many cadres doing what should be left to true professional managers. Unless these issues are addressed, any tariff hike will be no more productive than kicking a can down the road. Simple. Unfortunately, it seems there is zero political will to take the hard steps needed.

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  7. Fire the Board. All they want is ready cash. We are not cows to be milked whichever way by ZESCO.

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  8. ZESCO IS AN EMBARRASSMENT.
    MEANWHILE I PROPOSE THAT THE ARRANGEMENT WHEREBY ZESCO SUPPLIES POWER TO THE MINES THROUGH CEC MUST BE VISITED AND STOPPED. CEC REAPS WHERE IT HAS NOT SOWN.
    THE MANAGEMENT BUY-OUT OF CEC BY A FEW SELFISH INDIVIDUALS IS ONE OF THE MOST SCANDALOUS TRANSACTIONS DURING PRIVATIZATION.
    ZAMBIANS ARE BEING RIPPED OFF.

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