ZESCO projected to lose revenue worth $35 million as a result of rationing electricity


Government has announced that ZESCO was projected to lose approximately US$$35 million monthly as a result of load management and loadshedding.

Minister of Energy, Peter Kapala, said in recognition of this, the government had noted the need for a lasting solution that required the provision of affordable and sustainable energy services.

Kapala said this when he delivered a Ministerial Statement to Parliament on Thursday afternoon in Lusaka.

In the Ministerial Statement, the Minister outlined several measures being implemented to mitigate the impact of reduced electricity supply on the Zambian economy.

“The forecasted reduction in the water levels due to the El Nino drought, characterised by a reduction in hydropower generation and the growing electricity demand would result in a power deficit of about 430 megawatts,” he said.

Kapala stated that in implementing the load management programme, ZESCO had been directed to consider the vital role played by strategic institutions such as health facilities, water utilities, industry and mining firms and security wings.

He added that with the reduced electricity supply on the country’s economy, government would gradually withdraw 120 megawatts from the export market.

Kapala said this would be done taking into consideration the current bilateral contracts.

“This plan is scheduled to run from February 2024 to December 2024 however, it is worth noting that this plan will translate into a revenue loss of US$110 million,” he highlighted.

Kapala stated that among the short term measures was the importation of between 50 megawatts to 90 megawatts from Mozambique.

“ZESCO is currently importing between 50 megawatts to 90 megawatts between 21 hours and 05 hours and is actively engaged in negotiations with Mozambique for an increase in firm power imports for an additional 120 megawatts,” he said.

Kapala added that the Ndola energy power plant had a capacity of 105 megawatts and that currently, ZESCO and Ndola Energy Company Limited were undertaking negotiations with a view to restarting the power plant.

The Minister stated that the negotiations were expected to be completed by April 2024 after which ZESCO would purchase 105 megawatts from May to December, 2024.

“The government, through ZESCO, is developing a 100 megawatt Solar PV power plant in Kabwe,” he said

Kapala added that the project was underway with a scheduled duration of 10 months, aiming for completion and commissioning by the end of the year.

Read More: ZESCO announces planned power outages in five provinces

He pointed out that government had completed the development of the first Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) aimed at providing a lasting solution to Zambia’s challenges in the electricity sector.

“The IRP is a roadmap for the sustainability of the electricity sector. It outlines a strategy for addressing these challenges through the implementation of sustainable solutions,” Kapala said.

He noted the need for additional generation capacity of 6,505 megawatts by 2026, requiring an estimated investment of US$4.984 billion.

Kapala said to meet long-term demand, the IRP forecasts a total of 23,193 MW by 2050, with a corresponding investment requirement of nearly US$31 billion.

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