KCM highlights need for competitive power prices
July 13, 2017
Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM) Chief Executive Officer, Steven Din, today highlighted the need for Zambia to have competitive energy prices to sustain growth of the mining sector. He was speaking at the International Conference on ‘Geology, Mining, Mineral and Ground Water Resources in Zambia’s tourism capital, Livingstone.
In a paper delivered on his behalf by Mr. Howard Chilundika, KCM General Manager for Energy, he said that competitive tariffs would reinforce Zambia’s competitive advantage and bring further stability and predictability in the mining fiscal regime.
‘’Affordable and reliable power generation and transmission should be a priority if Zambia is to attain an annual production of one million plus tons of copper,’’ Mr. Din said.
‘’Lower energy costs together with favorable global market prices for metals can help transform Zambia’s economy.”
Globally, the mining industry accounts for about 5% of electricity consumption, while more than 50% of Zambia’s power is consumed by the mining sector. The ratio is this high because Zambia’s installed capacity for power generation is low.
In most copper mines, mining uses about 20 percent of the total energy requirement; milling around 40 percent; and smelting, converting, and refining another 40 percent.
Mr. Din informed the conference that a cost of power study on electricity tariffs in Zambia is expected to be concluded early 2018and should provide clarity and the basis to help stabilize power tariffs for the sector.
Mr. Din commended the government for taking significant steps to ensure reliability in the power sector through the recent commissioning of two new power stations, the 120MW Itezhi-Tezhi Power Station and the 300MW Maamba Coal Fired Power Plant.
He added that, “the plans to build the 750MW Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro-Power Project and the 1,200MW Batoka Gorge Hydro-Power Project point to a brighter future in terms of availability of power.”
‘’The introduction of renewables like Solar PV energy which has recently seen the awarding of two 50MW Solar PV Power Plants in Zambia and the further new mandate for 500MW,will additionally help to bring down the cost of electricity tariffs in line with global market trends,’’ he said.