ZESCO has been selling electricity at US$cent 5 per kilowatt which it has been importing at US$cent 18.43 per kilowatt from Aggreko forcing government to subsidize the consumers, Parliament heard yesterday.
Energy Minister Dora Siliya said the situation resulted in a huge deficit.
Ms Siliya said this in response to Patriotic Front (PF) Chongwe Member of Parliament Sylvia Masebo who wanted to know whether mining companies had been paying a premium for the 148 megawatts of power imported from Aggreko in Mozambique.
Ms Siliya said out of US$40, 122, 847.20 total cost of power supplied between September 2015 and December 2015, Government transferred a total of US$32.5 million whilst ZESCO paid a total of US$ 7.5 million.
“Then for the 40 MW for the period January to December 2016, it will cost ZESCO about US$5.5 million per month,” Ms Siliya said.
She said the bulk supply tariffs for mining and other companies whose consumption was more that of maximum demand customers (Maximum Demand entails customer categories whose consumption ranges from 16 to 10, 000 kilovolt Ampere.
Ms Siliya said any consumption beyond the afore-mentioned was governed through development agreements which included specific power purchase agreement with either ZESCO Limited or Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC).
Ms Siliya said due to the severe power deficit that the country was facing, ZESCO declared a force majeure event on all its contracts with its mining customers and advised them that it would limit supply to 70 percent of declared demand.
“Consequently, when Aggreko commenced the supply of emergency power to ZESCO in September 2015, all mining companies that required supplies above 70 percent of their respective declared demand were required to pay a premium of US cents 10. 16/kwh,” Ms Siliya said.
She added that the tariffs for the mining companies were further adjusted to US cents 10.35/kwh effective January 2016 through a separate negotiation process facilitated by the Ministry of Energy and Water Development.