Monday, June 17, 2024

Energy Minister Announces Plans to Increase Access to Electricity and Reduce Fuel Prices

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Zambia’s Minister of Energy, Hon. Eng. Peter C. Kapala, has delivered a press statement addressing the current state of the country’s energy sector. The briefing, which was held at the Ministry of Information and Media, highlighted improvements in electricity generation and measures being taken to reduce fuel prices.

According to the Minister, the water levels in the country’s major hydropower reservoirs have continued to rise, resulting in an increase in generation at the Itezhi-Tezhi Power Station and Lusemfwa Hydropower Station. As a result, the total available average electricity generation now stands at 2,235MW, which is sufficient to meet the current power demand. Therefore, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) has stopped load shedding.

The Minister also announced that the government is committed to achieving universal access to electricity, and has increased funding for rural electrification projects. Sixty-two grid development projects have been advertised for implementation in 2023, and 18 off-grid systems shall be installed through solar mini-grids.

In addition, the Minister discussed measures being taken to reduce fuel prices. The government plans to convert the TAZAMA pipeline to transport finished petroleum products instead of feedstock, which will significantly reduce the cost of transporting low sulfur gasoil. The government is also exploring blending petrol with ethanol, which has realized several benefits in other countries, including reduction in prices and the promotion of cassava out-grower schemes.

The Minister further stated that negotiations have been initiated for the possibility of utilizing the Zimbabwean fuel pipeline for the transportation of gasoline, which would result in lower prices. The government is also revisiting and revising the rates for selected cost lines in the fuel price build-up, including costs related to profit margins and applicable charges/fees.

Regarding the current fuel stock situation, the Minister confirmed that Zambia had sufficient national fuel stocks, with diesel exceeding the required threshold of 15 days and petrol falling slightly below. The reduction in petrol stocks has been attributed to high premiums charged by international suppliers and refineries due to the low availability of the product worldwide, making imports costly for oil marketing companies. To address this, the government has confirmed orders from several oil marketing companies of both diesel and petrol, which will provide more than 15 days of stock cover for each product.

The Minister concluded by reiterating the government’s commitment to ensuring a reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy supply for the country, towards a brighter and more sustainable energy future for Zambia.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Will only believe when it happens. It could be a sincere statement or a lie to stem off the rising anger among the people. It could be beneficial for all of us if it doesn’t end a day dreaming venture.

  2. This man is there talking about exploring plans to use ethanol from cassava and Sixty-two grid development projects which have been advertised….all this is 75% hot air as soon as the water level starts dropping its back to squared one. You have sugar plantations in Nakambala Sugar Estates why not talk to them…all this is hot air as the govt makes alot of money from importing fuel and the middle men who are funders of the ruling parties also benefit massively from this procurement process.

  3. How can a govt in a landlocked country be proud of importing finished product like petroleum products through a pipeline where is the value addition we were promised?

  4. You have addressed load shedding bur not the cost of electricity. If the cost is too high and people cannot afford then it will be as good as self loadshedding.

    • Kwi, they have solved nothing. Just wait for the reality to show itself in a few months time…more explanations and finger pointing.

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