Mines cushion power deficit

MINING companies have agreed to remove non-essential loads from their systems to save power as one of the seven measures to cushion the power deficit the country is experiencing, Zambia Chamber of Mines president Jackson Sikamo has said.
He said in an interview that the full impact of the current power deficit on the mining companies was however not easy to estimate at the moment but that it will inevitably affect production.
“The first action we agreed is that the restriction of power to the mining companies in North-Western Province will be lifted and at the same time mining companies will steadily look at their operations and see how best they can remove non-essential loads from their system so that they save power,” Mr. Sikamo said.
He said the decision to remove non-essential loads on the operations together with efficiency would save about 10 to 15 percent power.
Mr Sikamo said mining companies agreed in the second action plan to request ZESCO and Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) to immediately source and import power from outside the country.
“We requested ZESCO and CEC to sit down and find out how much power was available and what it could cost to import, and when power is ready to import. We know that this power will be expensive but after determining the cost they would share the cost and other commercial implications of this action. In the third action plan we urged ZESCO and CEC to immediately look at the short term efforts they are doing in terms of additional power, this will include putting up units which can generate power either from diesel or gas and companies which can supply those types of units . ZESCO has already engaged those companies,”he said. The meeting held on Tuesday was chaired by Energy minster Christopher Yaluma and was attended by chief executive officers of nine mining companies and CEC management.