CEC, mines ‘hatch’ power plan

THE Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) and mining companies on the Copperbelt have reached an agreement for the latter to present a plan for electricity rationing.
The move is aimed at mitigating and ultimately avoiding random power cuts following plans by Zesco to cut electricity supply to mining companies on the Copperbelt by 30 percent in the wake of the power deficit.
This implies that the power utility may relax its load-shedding plan once mining companies present a viable power reduction plan.
Chamber of Mines in Zambia president Jackson Sikamo and other stakeholders in the mining industry confirmed yesterday in separate interviews that they have resolved to ‘hatch’ a power reduction plan.
Mr Sikamo, who was in attendance, said the meeting took place at CEC premises in Kitwe on Saturday.
The meeting was attended by all chief executive officers (CEOs) of Copperbelt-based mining companies and a delegation from CEC led by their managing director.
Mr Sikamo, who is Chibuluma Mines CEO, said the main item on the agenda was to work out a strategy which would result in minimising the adverse impact of power deficit on copper mines.
“We came up with a plan, and mining companies were transparent in sharing their challenges, and we agreed to take action,” he said.
He said the stakeholders are now in the process of arranging another meeting with Zesco and Government to share resolutions of their meeting.
Mr Sikamo said they also intend to involve North-Western Province-based mining firms so as to draw up a national strategy for minimising the impact of power deficit.
He said load-shedding is a negative reality that is threatening the copper-mining industry and that there is need for stakeholders to effectively tackle the matter.

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