Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sisala dismisses claims of load shedding in mines

Sisala dismisses claims of load shedding in mines
By Kabanda Chulu
Saturday May 24, 2008 [04:00]

STAKEHOLDERS have dismissed finance ministry permanent secretary Emmanuel Ngulube’s assertions that the government may not get the projected US$ 415 million from mining windfall taxes due to load shedding. And Zesco Limited managing director Rhodnie Sisala said the current load shedding would not affect investments in the mining sector. During submissions to the parliamentary committee on estimates this week, Ngulube said the power outages were a challenge to the government because they would affect production from the mines.

“The projected revenue collections of US $ 415 million from the mining industry for this year many not be achieved because of power outages, therefore, we expect the revenue to reduce,” said Ngulube.

However, when making submissions to the same committee yesterday, Sisala said the mines were not affected by load shedding.
“The mines are not affected by the current load shedding and their investments will not be affected,” said Sisala.

And ATRADE managing director Trevor Simumba explained that Copperbelt Energy Corporation was a reliable supplier of power to the mines even in terms of national power blackouts.

Simumba said most mining companies were customers of Copperbelt Energy.
“Copperbelt Energy is very reliable in supplying power to the mines as was evidenced even during the national blackout when the company managed to import power urgently from DR Congo just to keep the mines in operations,” said Simumba.

Copperbelt Energy has entered into a long-term Bulk Supply Agreement with Zesco Limited that ensures a reliable and effective supply of electricity to the mines.

Copperbelt Energy also has in place four stand-by diesel powered sub stations that could mitigate power outages by generating 80 mega watts of power for the mines.

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