ZESCO announces it is in talks for additional electricity imports


The power utility company, ZESCO has announced that it is negotiating additional electricity imports that will be strategically allocated to crucial sectors including mining and agriculture.

Company Spokesperson, Matongo Maumbi, said this included other sectors such manufacturing to support economic stability and growth.

Maumbi said this in a statement issued in Lusaka on Monday in response to recent concerns expressed by the Chamber of Mines and other key industries.

He assured that ZESCO Limited was actively addressing the adverse effects of the ongoing drought, intensified by the El Niño phenomenon, on the nation’s hydropower capacity.

“This natural challenge has significantly lowered water levels in our dams, leading to an unavoidable declaration of “Force Majeure” with all our customers,” Maumbi said.

He highlighted that as a result, ZESCO was managing a considerable power production shortfall, with a deficit of approximately 700 megawatts anticipated for the year 2024.

Maumbi stated that Zambia relied on hydropower for 86 percent of its electricity needs and that ZESCO was exploring several strategies to bolster power supply.

“Considerations are underway to offer selected Power Supply Agreements (PSA) to customers outside our typical customer categories, such as small to medium industries and agricultural companies,” he added.

Maumbi said the agreements are intended to facilitate access to emergency power during this critical period, covering approximately 20 percent of a customer’s total energy usage.

He added that other measure was the implementation of a cost pass-through mechanism, pending approval from the Energy Regulation Board (ERB).

Read More: ZESCO abandons staggered 4 hours load management, reinstates eight of load shedding

“This is to ensure that the additional costs of emergency power are managed transparently and fairly,” Maumbi said.

He stated that the current environmental conditions had severely impacted the company’s ability to meet this demand, resulting in necessary power rationing measures and projected substantial financial losses for the corporation.

Maumbi said the losses extended beyond ZESCO, potentially diminishing national economic output, especially within the mining sector which poised for a critical recovery and production increase.

“In light of these challenges, ZESCO has upheld a commitment to continuous dialogue and cooperation with the mining sector and other industries,” he assured.

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