•ZESCO exhausts water allocated for power generation in 2024.

• ZESCO Board and Management have been grossly incompetent,careless and irresponsible

• Further ZESCO must disclose details of all recent power purchase agreements signed with potential independent power producers as this has capacity to bankrupt the utility company.

Lusaka-Saturday,21st June 2024

We have noted a statement attributed to the ZESCO Acting Deputy Director Distribution and Customer Services, Kennedy Muchanga who has disclosed that the utility company has overdrawn its share of water allocatedbto it by the Zambezi River Authority for generation of power for the year 2024.

For this reason, ZESCO says besides the normal load-shedding timetable, it will begin to implement an aggressive emergency rationing of power, which will result in more hours of load-shedding to its customers beyond the published time table.

This worrying development is a clear act of irresponsible leadership and a demonstration gross negligence.

It is clear that despite the limited allocation of water given to ZESCO, especially in light of the drought that affected the country, ZESCO kept generating power at full throttle, so that it could meet its power exports agreements entered into.

We must remember that all stakeholders had advised both the Minister of Energy, Hon. Peter Kapala and ZESCO Board and Management to cancel the export of power to Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa so that the available power could adequately meet local demands and also avoid extended hours of load-shedding.

It is inconceivable that despite being given a quota of allocated water to use from Kariba Lake in 2024 by the Zambezi River Authority, ZESCO disregarded the guidance and now has ended up using all the water allocated to it by June 2024.

This typifies the prevalent excessive incompetence, negligence and poor leadership exhibited in the operations at ZESCO since 2021.

This poor leadership has not spared the Ministry of Energy as Hon. Peter Kapala who, recently on the floor of the House in Parliament, assured that that the country would not suffer any load-shedding or unnecessary power cuts in 2024.

These assurance have turned out to be utterly false.

The cost of these power cuts to the economy, is incalculable and businesses, especially MSMEs, may not recover.

Further households are being highly inconvenienced with the loadshedding as refrigerated food stuffs frequently go bad.

We note with concerns that load-shedding has now moved from 12 hours to periods ranging from 24hrs to 48hrs in some circumstances.

The Zambezi River Authority (the Authority) allocated 16 Billion Cubic Meters (BCM) of water to be shared equally between ZESCO Limited (ZESCO) and Kariba Hydro Power Company (KHPC) for their power generation operations at Kariba for the year 2024.

The 2024 water allocation was informed by the 2023/2024 rainfall forecasts made by the Southern Africa Climate Outlook Forum-27 (SARCOF-27) and the corresponding downscaled projections by the National Metrological Agencies of Zambia and Zimbabwe, which all showed a high probability of a normal to below normal 2023/2024 rainfall season for the Kariba Lower Catchment and normal to above normal rainfall season for the Kariba Upper catchment.

Further, there is need to disclose all Power Purchase Agreements recently signed to help disclose the price that ZESCO will be buying power from Independent Power Producers (IPP).

We note that the numerous agreements have capacity to immediately bankrupt ZESCO.

We note that the few Agreements signed with current Independent Power Producers such as Mamba Collieries and Ndola Energy are draining resources from ZESCO as the utility company buys the power at expensive prices but sells it to domestic and industrial customers at a cheaper and lower price, resulting in ZESCO in perpetual debt to independent power producers.

This is unaffordable to ZESCO.

It is for this reason that there should be public disclosure of all agreements recently signed.

We have noted that ZESCO has signed Power Purchase Agreements for independent power producers to supply it with power.

These include; ACSG Westland (thermal), African GreenCo Group, United Arab Emirate’s SkyPower Global, Integrated Clean Energy Power Company a subsidiary of China Huadian Corporation, and a Nigerian company, Africa Consolidated Services Group (ACSG).

All these deals have been touted to be worth billions of United States Dollars.

The independent power producers have to be paid for the power supplied at whatever costs the Agreement states.

Issued by;
Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba
Chairperson for Information and Publicity,
Member of the Central Committee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *