New Minister To Review Energy Tariffs

NEWLY appointed Lands, Energy and Water Development minister, Christopher Yaluma has said his first task will be to conduct a review of the energy tariff structure to ensure sustainable power and fuel supply in the country.

Noting that energy was the engine of the national economy, Mr Yaluma said in an interview after being appointed at State House yesterday that the Government would study what was obtaining in the sector.

He said it was imperative to improve the supply of petroleum and power in the country.

Mr Yaluma said without proper energy supply it would be difficult to meet most of the national development goals.

In the electricity sub-sector, he said there was need to attract more players, especially whom he called the individual power producers (IPPs) who would compete with the current national power utility, Zesco.

To offset power shortages at peak hours, the major energy consumers like the mines and other big industries would be encouraged to maximise their operations at night when other consumers did not need the power.

Mr Yaluma who is Patriotic Front (PF) Malole Member of Parliament (MP) said the government would provide incentives to encourage that.

That coupled with the entry into power production by the IPPs would ensure that there was constant power supply at any given time. He said it was sad the country had continued to grapple with power shortage in the midst of many rivers suitable for hydro-power generation.

He said, apart from Zesco which was already in government hands, power generation and supply should be left to the private sector who would compete among themselves saying that would ensure efficiency in the sector.

For the oil sub-sector, Mr Yaluma said there was need to explore other sources of the essential commodity as opposed to solely relying on the current supplies through the TAZAMA and Indeni Oil Refinery.

Mr Yaluma’s deputy is Luangeni Independent MP, Charles Zulu for the ministry which was formally Ministry of Energy and Water Development but has been merged with the Ministry of Lands.