The Copperbelt Energy Corporation Plc (CEC) says it is critical for the company and Zesco to find a lasting solution to the expiry of the Bulk Supply Agreement (BSA) to avoid any challenges on the Copperbelt and the economy at large
And CEC says it is willing to tap into its existing contracts within the region to source power and supplement local supply sources so as to mitigate any potential effect that the power supply gap may have on mining operations.
In a statement issued by the CEC corporate communications officer, Muntanga Sbalwa, the company noted that the BSA between Zesco and CEC is what underpins the supply of power to the entire Copperbelt.
“The factual position, as was stated during the said media engagement with local media on 27 November 2019, is that the BSA between CEC and ZESCO Limited (ZESCO) underpins the supply of power to the entire Copperbelt Province customer base including mining and non-mining customers; making it critical for the parties to find a lasting solution ahead of its expiry so as to avoid any challenges to the Copperbelt and the economy at large. The goal being the continued seamless supply of power to all consumers on the Copperbelt Province,” the statement read.
“The company wishes to correct the misinformation and inaccuracies pertaining to the expiry and renewal of its bulk power contract, its continued existence/operation post the Bulk Supply Agreement (BSA), load management program with mining companies and the position of the Company in Zambia’s electricity supply industry as carried in some media reports, arising from a recent engagement with the media.”
The company further noted that the mines that are supplied by both Zesco and the CEC are exempt from the load management program for economic reasons.
“Currently, all the mines in the Copperbelt and North-Western provinces, supplied by CEC and ZESCO respectively, are exempt from the load management program purely for economic reasons, in view of the industry’s critical role as the anchor of other industries in the country, its role as the key foreign exchange earner and the second largest employer after the Government. The decision to continue meeting the mines’ full power requirements is carefully determined through a consultative and coordinated process involving the Ministry of Energy, ZESCO and CEC. Should a stage be reached where the mines would be required to participate in load management programs, CEC explained its willingness to tap into its existing contracts within the region to source power and supplement local supply sources so as to mitigate any potential effect that the power supply gap may have on mining operations,” read the statement.
“CEC owns and operates power infrastructure and assets worth more than US$500 million covering the Copperbelt Province, including transmission infrastructure linking into the Democratic Republic of Congo, which assets the Company deploys for the economic benefit of the country. CEC will continue to use its assets and capabilities to create value for all its stakeholders and shareholders, by providing value-adding electricity solutions to its primary markets and participating in national programs aimed at developing the sector and achieving an appropriate energy mix for the country. Being the country’s oldest and second-largest power utility, the Company derives value from its asset base, its relationships with generators and consumers as well as its positioning and as a power supplier of choice to its key customer base.”