The Energy Regulation Board plans to gradually hike electricity tariffs for mining firms to achieve cost reflectivity by 2015.
ERB director for infrastructure and regulation, James Manda, said the energy regulator would like all mining companies by 2015 to be paying electricity tariffs that reflect the true cost of producing power.
He told the mining and energy conference in Lusaka on Wednesday that the ERB would gradually raise the electricity tariffs in the mining sector to cost reflectivity by 2015.
“We want to see this migration by 2015,” Manda said.
And energy minister Christopher Yaluma said the country was far from achieving electricity tariffs that reflect the true cost of producing power.
“From where we are, we are not even close to what we would like to see from the initial stage and that is why we are saying the next tariffs we are going to approve will start having that element of cost reflectivity in them,” Yaluma told journalists on the sidelines of the conference. “That is what is going to sustain or woo investors to go in hydro power [generation] because that cost of doing maintenance works will be embedded in the tariffs. As it is, power producers have got to strive to do their maintenance because the power is given without taking into consideration that cost element which would maintain the equipment.”
Yaluma said sustainable development could only be achieved with adequate energy generation and supply.
He noted that currently the level of power generation in Zambia was inadequate to meet the demand of the mining industry.