In Zambia, the Copperbelt Energy Corp accuses the government of wanting to dispossess it of its infrastructure and impose commercially unsustainable tariffs on it. Charges that the executive rejects while maintaining the obligation for the company to share its infrastructure.

In Zambia, the Copperbelt Energy Corp accuses the government of wanting to take over its facilities. The Ministry of Energy published a statutory instrument last week which states that the CEC power lines are public electric transport infrastructure. It thus obliges the company to transport energy on behalf of other players under agreed conditions.

The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) also implemented, on May 31, a new pricing system for the use of the energy network by other entities. The updated prices are equivalent to 30% of those previously charged according to Reuters .

“The government has, for all intents and purposes, taken measures that amount to an expropriation of the CEC by removing its commercial and property rights, and preventing it from making commercially viable decisions,” said in a statement, the company which was a public enterprise until 1990. It also affirmed its willingness to enter into negotiations with the government on the subject.

At the same time, the government denies any intention of wanting to take over the company. “It is their property and we have no intention of taking it back. They will charge, but their rates must comply with the regulations of the Southern African Power Pool and the ERB, ” said Matthew Nkhuwa, the Minister of Energy.

Recall that last Sunday, the CEC announced that it would stop providing energy to Konkola Copper Mines, the largest consumer of electricity in the country. The government then decided to take over with Zesco, the national electric company.


Source: Agence Ecofin