The Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) has bemoaned the prolonged non-settlement of debts by Konkola Copper Mines and Mopani Copper Mines for power supplied to the Mining Companies.
CEC is currently owed a total of US$177.2million as at August 18, 2022and the debt continues accumulating as the power utility continues supplying power to the mining company.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Kitwe yesterday, CEC Chief Projects Officer Vincent Nyirenda said the debt has constrained the working capital of the power utility.
Mr. Nyirenda said the huge accumulated debt means that the company is operating with less working capital.
“The KCM debt has not been recovered and the matter is now before the court, there is an arbitration process that CEC has stated in order to recover the money owed by KCM and that process has not been concluded,” he said.
And on Mopani, another Mine that owes CEC arears for power supplied, Mr. Nyirenda said progress has been made to recover the money through a payment plan that has been agreed.
He noted that the recovery of the debt from the two mining companies will help put the power utility back on a comfortable working capital.
In 2020, when government took over the running of Konkola Copper Mines following the liquidation of the mine, the company begun abrogating the power supply agreement it had with CEC by refusing to pay bills for the power supplied until it escalated to huge sums.
And Mopani Copper Mine started defaulting on the payment conditions after Glencoe, the immediate past owners of the Mopani left the mine under unfavourable financial conditions.
And Mr. Nyirenda has complained of continued vandalism on its infrastructure.
He said the increased vandalism on its infrastructure is one of the key challenges the company has been grappling with over the past few years.
He however said the company has engaged the police in fighting the scourge which has resulted in apprehension of some culprits.