KITWE, May 3 - The Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) has spent about US$350,000 to phase out the environmental unfriendly machinery, CEC chief executive officer, Kevin Chapman, has said.
Mr Chapman said all the machinery which contained the harmful poly-chlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) had been sent to Finland to be destroyed and the corporation was now PCB-free.
He said the phasing out was in line with the ongoing reforms in the company including environmental management, adding that the transformers at both Kitwe and Luano sub-stations had no harmful substances.
And CEC has started diversifying its power supplies from the mines to other areas through establishment of a Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya interconnector to facilitate increased electricity exports to Southern African power pool countries next year.
CEC would also increase the current DR Congo-Zambia interconnector output from 210 megawatts to 500 megawatts to boost regional electricity trade.
CEC chief executive officer said in Kitwe recently during a media tour, that the corporation wanted to shift from only supplying the mine to other areas.
He said the limited power supply from the DR Congo-Zambia interconnector was a bottleneck to regional power trade, hence the need to reinforce it this year.
DR Congo's Societe Nationale d' Electricite and CEC would enhance the output by constructing another power line between DR Congo and Zambia this year.
"This project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2004, will be of significant commercial benefit not only to CEC, but to other utilities in Zambia. In particular, ZESCO's international wheeling revenue will more than double to more than US$5 million per annum," Mr Chapman said.
He said the Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya interconnector would facilitate exports of power surplus from Zambia and Southern African power pool countries to East Africa where there was a deficit.
"The project is Zambia's opportunity for increased hydro-power exports. Zambia's future power stations, Kafue Gorge Lower and Itezhi-tezhi are relatively close to the East African market," he said.
Meanwhile, the corporation has spent over K4 billion in the last six years to assist retrenched and retired employees set up businesses.
Mr Chapman said 60 former employees had established 38 companies which had in turn employed 247 people.
The company supplies power to Konkola Copper Mines Plc, Mopani Copper Mines Plc, Luanshya Copper Mines Plc and Chambishi Metals.
Others are NFC Africa Mines Plc and Chibuluma Mines Plc.
CEC buys electricity from ZESCO and supplies it to the mines.
It employees 350 Zambians and two expatriates.