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VEDL - Vedanta News Story

₹288.6 18.5  6.9%

Last Trade - 29/07/21

Sector
Basic Materials
Size
Large Cap
Market Cap £10.33bn
Enterprise Value £12.21bn
Revenue £9.70bn
Position in Universe 45th / 3139

Zambian court dismisses government decision over CEC's power distribution

Fri 26th February, 2021 9:05pm
LUSAKA, Feb 26 (Reuters) - A Zambian court on Friday ruled
illegal a decision by the government that allowed companies to
use Copperbelt Energy Corp's (CEC) power lines if they paid.
    Energy Minister Matthew Nkhuwa last year issued a statement,
known as a statutory instrument, declaring the CEC power lines a
"common carrier" and obliging it to transmit electricity on
behalf of other electricity companies that would pay CEC on
agreed terms and conditions. 
    "The respondent’s decisions were illegal and tainted with
procedural impropriety,” Lusaka High Court Judge Elita
Phiri-Mwikisa said in a judgment seen by Reuters.
    The Energy Ministry was not immediately available for
comment. 
    However, the government has argued the long-term power
supply agreement between CEC and mining companies gave undue
advantage to the power distributor over state-owned utility
Zesco, which generates the electricity.
    CEC, formerly a state-owned firm before it was privatised in
the 1990s, had argued that the order and other steps taken by
the government amounted to expropriation. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2DF5FB
    The CEC, which its Zambia’s largest distributor of power to
the mines, said the government's actions had taken away the
company's commercial and property rights and had prevented it
from making viable business decisions.
    The energy minister had said the infrastructure remained CEC
property but others could use it on agreed terms and conditions.
    CEC said last year that the decision by the minister gave
the energy regulator power to impose a tariff limit even before
it could negotiate with other companies.
    At the time the CEC said it would stop supplying power to
Vedanta's Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) unit after talks to extend
a supply agreement broke down over debt owed to CEC.
    However, the government intervened in May 2020 and said KCM
would now receive its power directly from Zesco, which
previously sold electricity to CEC for onward supply to KCM.

 (Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Aurora Ellis)
 ((Tanisha.Heiberg@thomsonreuters.com; +27117753034; Reuters
Messaging: tanisha.heiberg.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
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