Zambia Economy - Development | Politics | Technology | Society
Eergy for Zambia and others
The Post/ZANIS News , 26 December
- Zambia's quest to develop an electricity inter-connector with two East African countries Kenya and Tanzania will work out once "we increase our tariffs," Zambia's Energy Permanent Secretary Peter Daka has said.
Mr Mumba, in an interview with The Post, Zambia's leading independent tabloid, said his Kenyan counterpart had hinted that Zambia first needed to look at the tariffs for the envisaged inter-connector project to be profitable.
"We are trying to work with other governments such as Kenya and Tanzania on an electricity inter-connector project in view of the looming power deficit in the region," Mr Mumba said. "We have held discussions with both countries and we all believe this is a good idea towards establishing a strong power sector in the region."
"The only issue is that our Kenyan counterpart said we must first look at our tariffs which are among the lowest in the region before we can switch into an inter-connector project."
Mr Mumba said the project was likely to start next year considering that Zambia Electricity Corporation, ZESCO, had already made an application for an upward adjustment of tariffs for both domestic and commercial consumers.
"I'm very certain that we will start the project next year because we are likely to have an increase in tariffs before the end of the year," he said.
Energy experts forecast a power deficit in the region beginning end of next year if power utilities do not expand their generation and transmission capacities to meet the rising demand for energy.
A number of countries in the region, including Zambia, are taking steps to either rehabilitate existing power plants or construct new ones to offset the anticipated power shortages.
The situation, if not averted, has potential to reverse the economic gains the region has scored so far as electricity is a critical input in the production of goods and services.
During the SADC heads of state and government summit in the Zambian capital Lusaka in August this year, member countries were reminded to urgently implement the main power generation and transmission projects to ward off the looming power deficit in the region.
The member states were further advised to speed up the inter-connector projects and ensure the availability of adequate regional energy security in order to meet the projected demand.
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