Power crisis ends next quarter
Published On October 9, 2015 » 2254 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » Business, Stories
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THE Government projects the current power crisis to end in the first quarter of 2016 as a result of the huge investments being undertaken to increase power generation in the country.
Finance Deputy Minister Christopher Mvunga said the power crisis currently being experienced was a short-term setback because the Government had heavily invested in power generation.
Mr Mvunga said the power crisis would come to an end in the first quarter of 2016 and that this would bring back the economy on track.
The deputy minister said this during a bilateral meeting with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) vice-president Kato Hiroshi yesterday.
“The power issue is (a) short term (one) because there are a number of power supply projects expected to come on stream in the first quarter of 2016 such as the Maamba Collieries thermal power plant which would be operational by thev first quarter producing 300 megawatts.
“Phase two of the project will add another 300 megawatts of power which will bring it to 600 megawatts of power. Our current shortfall is about 560 megawatts and there are other small projects coming on board,” he said.
Mr Mvunga said the adverse power effects had arisen from partial drought, which had caused challenges in terms of power generation.
He said load-shedding had affected the mining area and impacted heavily on the Micro Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSMEs).
“The positive thing is we had already embarked on power supply projects even before this drought occurred and the foresight for this is we had to ramp up production in the mining sector when new mines come on stream which require additional power,” he said.
Mr Mvunga said the Government was optimistic that they would be a turnaround in the pricing of the commodities on the world market as China’s economy recovers.
“In our view…. within the next 12 to 18 months we should see some form of turnaround coming through in the production of copper,” he said.
On the exchange rate, the deputy minister said the country had recorded reduced mining revenue which had resulted in less inflows of foreign exchange on the market.
This has, therefore, created a demand and consequently the depreciation of the Zambian Kwacha against the United States dollar.
Mr Mvunga said even some other African economies like South Africa’s had been negatively affected resulting in the poor performance of their currencies.

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