Saturday, June 22, 2024

British Companies Pledge $2 Billion Investment in Zambia’s Energy Sector, but Mwamba and other raise Concerns

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British companies have pledged to invest $2 billion in Zambia’s energy sector, according to a statement from British High Commissioner to Zambia Nicholas Woolley. The investment will go towards setting up renewable energy projects in the country, with a goal of producing 2,000 megawatts of electricity. However, some, including opposition Patriotic Front (PF) Presidential Candidate Emmauel Mwamba, have raised concerns over the none potential bottlenecks in legislation and issues with state-owned utility company ZESCO that the British companies are demanding.

Mwamba warns that independent power producers want ZESCO to buy power at a higher price, despite consumers and the mining sector buying it at a cheaper rate from the company. He also notes that ZESCO is a vertically integrated utility and some are calling for it to be broken up and partially or fully privatized. Mwamba urges the public to question the current crisis in the energy sector and whether it is being used as an opportunity to impose permanent solutions.

He further said “Independent Power Producers want ZESCO to buy power at a higher price when consumers and the mining sector buy it extremely cheap from ZESCO. Who foots the difference?

This is the reason ZESCO owes $1billion to Independent Power Producers. Huge paper profits for them. Further, since ZESCO is a vertically integrated utility ( owns the infrastructure for generation, transmission and distribution of power) they want it broken up in 3 entities, partially or wholly privatised!

It is for this reason that we need to ask all the question about this current crisis as it has not been caused by weather or power deficit!

It appears someone is keen to use this temporary crisis to impose permanent solutions!”

And some people are further warning that quick due diligence on the 7 companies Mr Woolley is talking about, 3 have been dissolved, one has liabilities of £690million, there’s no data on two of them and the other one is an NGO that has been operating in Zambia since 2008.

According to ZNBC, Seven companies from the United Kingdom are investing two Billion dollars in setting up renewable energy projects in Zambia projected to produce two thousand Megawatts of electricity.

British High Commissioner to Zambia NICHOLAS WOOLLEY says the British companies are currently conducting feasibility studies and applying for regulatory approvals before they can kick start their projects.

Mr. WOOLLEY has told ZNBC News in an interview that the companies want to set up solar and wind energy projects in various parts of the country which will produce power to be sold to ZESCO. The British envoy says the two thousand megawatts will be ready to be added to the national grid in the next two to five years.

Sarah Bloom, Head of Economic Development and Green Growth at the British High Commission in Zambia, says that regulatory reforms are needed in the country’s energy sector to attract more investment. She also notes that tariffs need to be attractive and that ZESCO needs to be in a good financial situation in order to buy power from independent producers.

Special Assistant to the President for Finance and Investment Jito Kayumba says that President Hakainde Hichilema is committed to reforming the energy sector to make it more attractive to investors. The government is working towards attracting more investments in the sector to achieve energy surplus in the coming five years, according to Kayumba.

The seven British firms investing in Zambia are Hive Green, Western Power, Buffalo Energy, Africa GreenCo, First Quantum Minerals Solar Energy, Vitalite Solar, and SolarAid. The companies are currently conducting feasibility studies and applying for regulatory approvals before they can begin their projects.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Iyo Mwandi….same mindset of being dependent on colonial masters….when will Africa become independent….”for though others can free the body but still non but ourselves can free our mind”…Marcus Garvey

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  2. Ghanaians have warned their President that if he goes to IMF again…they will protest until they force him out office

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  3. Zesco must remain with the power generation portfolio alone, let others do the rest. The Act that declares Zesco as the single buyer of electricity must be repealed. Independent power producers can target individual bulk consumers like mines. Domestic power supply must revert to local authorities. IPPs can pay wheeling fees to Zesco and CEC where they don’t have their own infrastructure. CEC must also invest in its own generation capacity. It’s just a parasite on Zesco.

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  4. Mwamba is consistently lost, therefore, he is permanently confused . In addition, Mwamba likes asking nonsensical questions, yet, the answers he seeks are contained in the questions which he asks.

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  5. The solution to price problems is very simple- increase SUPPLY and remove MONOPOLY. If Zambians want cheaper electricity they must allow more competitors on the market. This is what happened in the United Kingdom. State owned electricity companies were privatised. Generation, Transmission and Distribution were liberalised. Today, electricity in the UK is very affordable. One can change provider at any time and they are all fighting for customers. Let us stop being sentimental about ZESCO. Over the years, it has served more as a cash cow for ruling political parties than an electricity provider.

    • Yeah right! affordable for who? The government is having to subsidise everyone to get through this winter. Can you afford paying as much as £6000 in your energy for the year? Please stop painting the UK as a saviour, they need us more than we need them.

  6. The solution to price problems is very simple- increase SUPPLY and remove MONOPOLY. Generation, Transmission and Distribution must be liberalised. Kill ZESCO monopoly and allow more Zambians into the sector so that one can change provider at any time. Let us stop being sentimental about ZESCO. Over the years, it has served more as a cash cow for ruling political parties than an electricity provider.

  7. Manny is right. Why is the UK not investing in the same renewable energy in their own back yard. The energy crisis in the UK is worse than Zambia, that’s why they want our free mineral resources to prop up the chaos in their own country. Europe is at cross roads with power but they are making sure that Africans do not benefit in this market at all costs.

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  8. This is is the reason why Africa has remained poor and a failed continent, these vultures have continued to feast on an African continent for ever. The price of power cannot be attractive when only the thieves who have raped the continent can afford it. The majority of Zambians cannot afford this power even at the current rates. So one must take with a pinch of salt for these people that want attractive rates.

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