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LUSAKA – Zambia’s energy regulator approved a 28.8 percent electricity price increase for mining companies in the African copper producer, effective on April 2.
The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) said the bulk supply agreement tariffs between state power company Zesco and Copperbelt Energy Corporation would be adjusted to 6.84c/KWh from 5.31c/KWh.
“All other mines supplied by Zesco have to adjust upwards to the new minimum tariff of 6.84c/KWh,” it said in a statement.
The regulator said the power supply agreements between CEC, one of the largest suppliers of power to the mines, and its mining customers would also have to be increased by the minimum tariff of 6.84c/KWh.
“Therefore power supply agreement tariffs between CEC and its mining customers will rise by an average of 17% over and above the recommended minimum tariff of 6.84c/KWh,” it said.
Emmanuel Mutati, the president of the Chamber of Mines of Zambia, said the price increase had come as a shock.
He said the chamber, which represents mining companies, would issue a comprehensive statement on Thursday.
The ERB said it was considering disputes between Zesco, CEC and some mining companies over the higher electricity prices.(Edited by: Reuters)