The Copperbelt Energy Corporation has reiterated that it is critical that a lasting solution is found to the Bulk Supply Agreement with ZESCO ahead of its expiry so as to avoid any challenges to the Copperbelt and the economy at large.
In a statement, CEC says the goal remains that there should be continued seamless supply of power to all consumers on the Copperbelt Province.
The statement was issued Tuesday afternoon in reaction to a story published by Lusaka Times following an interview with CEC Managing Director Owen Silavwe in which he raised concern that the company could cease operations by March 2020 if the Bulk Supply Agreement with ZESCO is not renewed.
This was after investigations by Lusaka Times found that there is pressure from some high ranking government officials to force ZESCO not to renew the agreement with CEC, a situation which could effectively force CEC to close its operations.
But in a statement issued by CEC Public Relations Adviser Muntanga Sibalwa, the company said the Agreement between CEC and ZESCO underpins the supply of power to the entire Copperbelt Province customer base including mining and non-mining customers.
Below is the full statement from CEC
CEC CLARIFIES MEDIA REPORTS
The Copperbelt Energy Corporation Plc (CEC) wishes to correct the misinformation and inaccuracies pertaining to the expiry and renewal of its bulk power contract, its continued existence/operation post the Bulk Supply Agreement (BSA), load management program with mining companies and the position of the Company in Zambia’s electricity supply industry as carried in some media reports, arising from a recent engagement with the media.
Bulk Supply Agreement
The factual position, as was stated during the said media engagement with local media on 27 November 2019, is that the BSA between CEC and ZESCO Limited (ZESCO) underpins the supply of power to the entire Copperbelt Province customer base including mining and non-mining customers; making it critical for the parties to find a lasting solution ahead of its expiry so as to avoid any challenges to the Copperbelt and the economy at large. The goal being the continued seamless supply of power to all consumers on the Copperbelt Province.
Power supply to the mines and load management program
Currently, all the mines in the Copperbelt and North-Western provinces, supplied by CEC and ZESCO respectively, are exempt from the load management program purely for economic reasons, in view of the industry’s critical role as the anchor of other industries in the country, its role as the key foreign exchange earner and the second largest employer after the Government. The decision to continue meeting the mines’ full power requirements is carefully determined through a consultative and coordinated process involving the Ministry of Energy, ZESCO and CEC. Should a stage be reached where the mines would be required to participate in load management programs, CEC explained its willingness to tap into its existing contracts within the region to source power and supplement local supply sources so as to mitigate any potential effect that the power supply gap may have on mining operations.
CEC’s position in the Zambian energy sector
CEC owns and operates power infrastructure and assets worth more than USD500 million covering the Copperbelt Province, including transmission infrastructure linking into the Democratic Republic of Congo, which assets the Company deploys for the economic benefit of the country. CEC will continue to use its assets and capabilities to create value for all its stakeholders and shareholders, by providing value-adding electricity solutions to its primary markets and participating in national programs aimed at developing the sector and achieving an appropriate energy mix for the country. Being the country’s oldest and second-largest power utility, the Company derives value from its asset base, its relationships with generators and consumers as well as its positioning and as a power supplier of choice to its key customer base.
Issued by CEC Corporate Communication
For further information,
contact: Muntanga Sibalwa