SUN BUSINESS writes
GOVERNMENT has started dismantling the US$300 million debt Zesco owes Independent Power Producers (IPPS).
Energy Minister Mathew Nkhuwa has said that the debt which Zesco owed the IPPS had been transferred to the government because the power utility company was highly indebted due to the losses it had continued to incur.
He explained that the power utility company was buying power from IPPS at a high price but it was selling to its customers at a cheaper price resulting in huge losses.
The minister said, the government would ensure that the debt was settled for the IPPS to continue supplying power.
“The debt that is being owed is transferred to the government and the government of the Republic of Zambia will honour that debt.
The debt is as a result of Zesco buying energy more and being sold for less. Therefore the government is negotiating with this difference to make sure that we get power at an affordable price,” Mr Nkhuwa said.
I can assure the nation that yes, the debt is being taken care of and Maamba is operating because they have been paid some money. If they were not being paid they would have probably shut the operations.
Mr Nkhuwa said “They do get some money every month which they use for their operations and other things that they need to do, so the debt is being taken care off.
Last year, Maamba Collieries Limited Chief Executive Officer Rear Shankar said Zesco was owing the institution over US$300 million to Maamba Coilleries for unpaid electricity.
Mr Shankar said Zesco had not been able to pay the debt, making it difficult for the company to settle about US$100 million it owes in terms of loans.