GreenCo, First Quantum Minerals, ZESCO sign electricity supply deal to ease power crisis in Zambia


In a bid to address Zambia’s ongoing power crisis, GreenCo Power Services Limited has reportedly signed a significant electricity supply agreement with the country’s leading copper producer, First Quantum Minerals (FQM), and the national utility company, ZESCO.

The agreement entailed GreenCo supplying a portion of the 54,000 megawatt-hours of electricity that FQM planned to import monthly, thereby easing the strain on the national grid.

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Zambia Monitor had reported on Saturday that the mining firm was hit by a power crisis, in which FQM confirmed it was working with ZESCO to source imported power to ensure that production plans were maintained.

According to a statement released in Lusaka on Tuesday, FQM currently procures an average of 224,000 megawatt-hours of electricity monthly from ZESCO.

The recent invocation of the force majeure clause in power supply agreements with some mines by ZESCO underscored the necessity for supplementary power procurement from abroad.

Wezi Gondwe, Head of Business Development at GreenCo, announced the successful execution of the Power Supply Agreement with FQM, emphasizing GreenCo’s commitment to providing innovative energy solutions across the Southern Africa region.

“At the start of 2024, we pledged to adopt a customer-centric approach, and through our role as a power trader, we are proud to support FQM and other commercial and industrial customers in collaboration with ZESCO,” Gondwe stated.

He highlighted the significance of private sector participation in addressing energy challenges across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, emphasizing the collaborative effort’s role in alleviating the burden on national utilities.

FQM’s Director in Zambia, Anthony Mukutuma, stressed the critical importance of the mining industry to Zambia’s economy and prosperity.

He affirmed FQM’s commitment to working with ZESCO to ensure uninterrupted operations amid the low generation capacity period.

“With loadshedding extended to mining companies as well, importing power will ensure FQM 2024 and 2025 production plans are maintained.

“The cost of imported power will be higher but these are unusual times and our teams are looking at various efficiency improvement and cost reduction initiatives to manage our overall costs,” Mukutuma said.

As Zambia’s largest copper producer, FQM operates the Kansanshi and Trident mines in the North-Western Province, playing a vital role in national export earnings, government revenue, and employment.

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