ERB Issues 133 Licenses and 32 Construction Permits

… Namukolo says the action is designed at boosting the country’s energy sector

By Francis Maingaila
Lusaka, Zambia24 — (8-07-2024) – The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has announced the issuance of 133 licenses and 32 construction permits in the first half of 2024, marking a significant step in bolstering Zambia’s energy sector.

This development aligns with the ERB’s mandate under the Energy Act No. 12 of 2019, section 4 (a), which mandates the regulator to issue specialized licenses for enterprises to legally operate in the provision of energy products and services.

According to Namukolo Kasumpa, Manager of Public Relations at ERB, the 133 licenses span various energy sub-sectors. In the petroleum sector, 100 licenses have been issued covering distribution, import, export, retail, road transportation, and lubricants, including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

“For electricity, six licenses have been granted to increase power generation capacity, notably the 60 MW solar photovoltaic power plant by CEC Renewables Limited, and to facilitate the entry of more intermediary traders,” she said.

In renewable energy, Kasumpa said the 27 licenses have been issued for the manufacturing, supply, installation, and maintenance of renewable energy equipment, supporting the deployment of alternative power solutions, off-grid systems, and biofuels production, storage, and blending.

In addition to these licenses, Kasumpa said the ERB provided one-off waivers for entities importing renewable energy equipment for personal use, contributing to efforts to reduce the demand on the national grid amidst an ongoing energy crisis.

“The 32 construction permits approved include projects such as petroleum service stations across the country and a 300 MW coal-based power plant, part of Maamba Collieries Limited’s Phase II Power Project,” she suggested.

“The total value of these licenses and permits is estimated at US$524.35 million (ZMW 13.45 billion), with significant investments like the Maamba 300 MW Phase II power plant and the 60 MW solar PV power plant by CEC Renewables Limited standing out,” she stated.

Kasumpa emphasized that these investments will create direct and indirect employment opportunities, contribute to the socio-economic upliftment of surrounding communities, and enhance the availability and accessibility of energy products nationwide.

She said the ERB’s commitment to streamlining the licensing and permitting process has been crucial in attracting investments and expediting project implementation.

“By fostering a conducive regulatory environment that promotes the integration of alternative energy sources into Zambia’s energy mix, the ERB has seen a rise in local and foreign investor interest in renewable energy and LPG,” she indicated.

She said this efficient issuance of licenses and permits underscores the ERB’s dedication to promoting sustainable energy infrastructure investments and ensuring a reliable, diversified energy supply.

“Working collaboratively with other regulatory agencies, the ERB aims to create a robust energy landscape that drives economic growth, creates jobs for Zambians, and enhances the country’s energy security.”

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