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Alba Iulia
Saturday, June 6, 2020

CEC threatens to cut off power to KCM

Columns CEC threatens to cut off power to KCM

Konkola Copper Mines which is in provisional liquidation, is fighting to keep the lights on after Copperbelt Energy Corporation threatened to reduce supply because of a $132-million bill, according to court filings.

KCM, Zambia’s biggest single power user, on May 13 won an interim order from the High Court preventing CEC from curbing its electricity.

KCM disputes the payment that CEC is demanding, and says power restrictions would cause irreparable damage to its facilities, according to an affidavit from the mining company.

The case is the latest in a series of financial troubles at KCM, which the government placed under provisional liquidation a year ago, through ZCCM-IH.

It’s also not the first time that CEC has moved to restrict supplies because of non-payment; there was a similar dispute in 2014.

“KCM’s non-payment for power consumed has resulted in liquidity challenges for the CEC business and exposed the company to extensive liability,” it said in response to emailed questions.

At the time of liquidation, KCM owed $47-million in unpaid bills, according to the affidavit signed by Mbobe Nyondo, the company’s energy and risk manager.

While KCM said it had paid $45-million, CEC said it is still owed $132 million.

The power provider then warned it would restrict supply, relying on a notice from a year ago that has since lapsed, according to Nyondo.

The High Court in Kitwe will hear the matter on May 26.

KCM didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. CEC is another company that has already gone in the books of history as one company that existed. For now they are history. They have milked Zambians long enough . Good bye CEC . It was good while it lasted.

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  2. Mining is a very serious undertaking with thousands of miners’ lives at stake. If ZESCO was the supplier, I wouldn’t dare go underground.

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  3. At let’s nationalize the mines and Zambians can manage them. KCM will be close by the end of the year

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  4. @Engineer and Nostra: Afternoon, diasporan donkeys and upnd fanatics. Will bally hand CEC another 20 year agreement of free power from ZESCO when he comes to power in…… 2061….kwekwekwekwekwe….

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  5. Wht has happened to good old Sunday Chanda? I hope it’s well with him. Haven’t heard from him for a while. Normally he would weigh in on something like this, ignoring boundaries a regular guy would observe.

  6. Milingo Lungu thought it was easy to run the mine. These are the problems encountered everyday. Wait until the workers threaten to strike.

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  7. Go back to Vedanta with tail tucked in ground and say big sorry and plead them to come back or invite the Chinese to milk the KCM bull. No lungu can run anything is Zambia. That clan is useless, thieving is in the blood

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  8. Where’s the new investor for KCM? Wht has happened to the presidential promise at Maputo Airport in Mozambique? Let’s learn to govern in prose and not continuing with the poetry of an election campaign.

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  9. In Zambia, business is brutal. It’s “D0g eat D0g affair!” It’s like Zambians don’t like to see others succeed. They are good at spoiling it for each other when there are amicable ways of resolving issues around the table. They think Courts are there to solve problems. Any wonder why the Muzungu uses Arbitration? What CEC and KCM should do is withdraw all Court cases and use the Arbitration route to resolve this otherwise there will be casualties on both ends! Cho Chise is no way to resolve business issues. Dialogue through Arbitration and come up with a plan!

  10. Chikubabe: I don’t know wht u’re talking about. CEC hv not taken Zesco to court. As for the KCM electric power debt to CEC who’s spoiling it for who here? Govt failed to re-imburse input VAT to KCM, KCM later built up debts to the power supplier. Let’s hv sober analysis of the situation we face.

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  11. Zambians were born to suffer.
    Bucushi is Zambian culture.
    Weak,shallmw and Low class Africans ma Zambians.

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