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ERB issues 26 standard licences

ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
IN AN effort to promote investment in the energy sector, the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) issued 26 standards licences to various companies in the first quarter of 2016.
ERB executive director Langiwe Lungu said taking cognisance of the current power shortage, the board issued 24 licences in the petroleum sub-sector, one for electricity supply and another for solar.
Speaking during the quarterly media briefing yesterday, Ms Lungu said various activities such as complaints handling, development of a regulatory framework for renewable energy, and monitoring of oil marketing companies (OMCs) were conducted in the period under review.
“The ERB issued licences for electricity generation to Itezhi Tezhi Power Company, with a capacity of 120 megawatts, and Dangote Cement, which is generating electricity for its own use.
“Five solar companies were also issued provisional licences to enable them commence operations and provide the much needed energy services and products, while processing for standard licences is in progress. The ERB also issued construction licences for three liquefied petroleum gas facilities which included a site in Kaputa,” she said.
Ms Lungu also said ERB has observed with concern the laxity by OMCs in ensuring that they are constantly providing good services at filling stations country wide.
She said out of 293 filling stations inspected countrywide, 94 were found without functioning compressed air and pressure valves, and 29 of the erring sites were based in Lusaka.
“These figures indicate an overall compliance rate of only 67.9 percent. The failure to provide these services is a breach of licence conditions which stipulate that this should be provided by all retail sites,” Ms Lungu said.
She, however, said OMCs have submitted that they keep incurring costs to repair and maintain pressure gauges which break down frequently and some users tend to mishandle pressure equipment, among others.

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