The long standing business relationship between the Copperbelt Energy Corporation and ZESCO comes to an end tonight after the expiry of the Bulk Supply Agreement.
Energy Minister Mathew Nkhuwa confirmed that the deal through CEC was suppling bulk electricity to mining companies and residential customers on the Copperbelt expires at midnight tonight.
Mr Nkhuwa told a news briefing in Lusaka on Tuesday afternoon that after seven weeks of negotiations among officials from CEC, ZESCO and the Ministry of Energy, the parties have failed to come up with a new agreement.
He revealed that the main point of disagreement was CEC’s insistence that it needed a 16 years long term agreement while ZESCO was only willing to accept a one-year interim agreement.
Mr. Nkhuwa said ZESCO had preferred to enter into an interim supply contract with CEC as it was awaiting results of the Cost of Service study which only be ready in November.
He said ZESCO therefore cannot commit to long term agreements before the study is concluded as it may have negative implications on its business.
Mr Nkhuwa expressed regret that negotiations for a new agreement had failed.
The Energy Minister assured that Government not allow any threats to the supply of electricity on the Copperbelt.
He said from 00.01 Hours Wednesday morning, ZESCO will take over the supply of electricity to CEC Copperbelt based customers on conditions on ZESCO’s terms as the utility is the true owner of the electricity.