STATE House has said the primary objective of President Edgar Lungu’s administration is to ensure that the country has sustainable electricity supply to spur economic growth.
Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that additional measures to address the current power deficit were at an advanced stage and that there was no cause for the nation to panic.
Mr Chanda dispelled fresh concerns of the country experiencing more load-shedding if Zesco continued to reduce electricity generation at critical power stations such as the Kariba North Bank (KNB) in Siavonga.
He disclosed that President Lungu was receiving daily updates on the power situation through a team of technocrats on energy constituted to address technicalities on the deficit.
Mr Chanda said should the current situation deteriorate, emergency measures would be implemented promptly to avert any further load-shedding.
“Government has already stepped in to address the power deficit and his Excellency the President is working round the clock to ensure that all the necessary measures to address the situation are implemented.
“The President is constantly in touch with energy technocrats and has also directed the Treasury to ensure that enough funds are channelled towards programmes aimed at alleviating the current deficit,” Mr Chanda said.
He said Government was constantly engaging mining companies on the usage of available power.
Mr Chanda said Zesco was cautious of the available water resources for generation hence the load-shedding programme to protect the infrastructure at stations such as KNB.
He noted that Zesco had been concise in ensuring that the infrastructure used in the generation process was not damaged through the risk of low water levels.
“There is absolutely no need for the nation to panic as Government and the President is working towards the overriding principle of ensuring that the country has sustainable electricity supply,” he said.
Zesco has made significant progress on all medium and long term projects to improve electricity generation and distribution with the 120 MW Itezhi-tezhi hydro power plant almost complete.
The power utility has indicated that the first 60 MW of the project would be commissioned in December this year while the other 60 MW would be commissioned next year in January.
Sinazongwe based Maamba Collieries is also in the process of completing a 300 MW coal fired power plant which would be commissioned in two phases in the first quarter of next year.
Zesco will further install 300 MW of power in distributed solar plants starting next year with the power utility distributing two million compact fluorescent lamps for use by domestic consumers.