Zambia’s state power utility Zesco Ltd said on Tuesday it had reached an agreement to import 300 MW of electricity from South Africa’s Eskom for a period of six months to ease shortages.
Acting Managing Director Webster Musonda told reporters in Lusaka that imports from Eskom would start on October 1 and would cost 22 million dollars a month.
“The negotiations have been concluded and we have an offer on the table. We will spread the cost of importing this power to our customers,” said Musonda.
Africa’s second largest copper producer, Zambia has a power deficit of more than 750 MW because of low water levels at hydropower dams.
Last week, Zambia announced it would increase the hours for power rationing as water levels continued to fall.
Zambia has historically priced electricity below the cost of production through subsidies. Only in recent years has the country started to gradually raise prices.
In 2017, the country’s energy regulator approved a 75 per cent price hike for electricity retail consumers and introduced a flat 9.30 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour tariff for mining companies.