State power utility ZESCO says it categorically denies owing over US $300 million to Maamba Coilleries for unpaid electricity.
Zesco Acting Managing Director Wester Musonda said whilst it would be inappropriate to comment on confidential matters over the arbitration proceedings against Maaamba, in view of the news reports, Zesco confirms that there is a dispute in relation to the excessive tariffs charged by Maaamba.
Mr Musonda said Zesco had hoped to resolve the dispute through constructive good faith negotiations.
He said Zesco shall vigorously defend any proceedings brought against it and categorically denies that it owes the amounts referenced in the said report.
On Tuesday, Maamba revealed that Zesco limited owes it US$350 million in power supply.
Maamba Collieries Limited Chief Executive Officer Rear Shankar says Zesco has not been able to pay the debt, making it difficult for the company to settle about US$100 million it owes in terms of loans.
Mr. Shankar explained that Maamba Collieries pays US$50 million towards settling its loans every six months, but that it has failed to pay back this year due to the failure by Zesco to pay what it owes the company.
Meanwhile Maamba Collieries Limited Head of Corporate Affairs, Commodore Svduir told Journalists in Maamba that despite Zesco increasing electricity tariffs several times, it has not improved on its poor culture of paying the company.
Maamba Collieries Limited contributes about 15-20 percent of Zambia’s energy demands.