Zambia's state-owned utility Zesco Ltd has asked mining companies in Africa's top copper producer to cut back on electricity use to help ease a power shortage, its managing director said on Friday.
Zambia generates 1,746 megawatts (MW) of electricity but demand exceeds capacity by about 70 MW during nighttime peaks caused by increased power usage from households, Cyprian Chitundu said.
Zesco has asked mining firms to reduce power usage by about 100 MW. There has been no reply yet from major mining firms.
The country's electricity shortage should eased in December 2013 when 180 MW of additional power was expected to be added to the grid, Chitundu said.
Foreign miners operating in Zambia include Canada's First Quantum Minerals, London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc , Glencore International Plc and Barrick Gold. - Reuters