August 25, 2017 / 4:10 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Glencore's Zambian unit says investments at risk due to power supply

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LUSAKA, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Glencore’s Zambian unit Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) said on Friday power supply restrictions to its operations due to a price dispute with its electricity supplier has put its investments at risk.

Copperbelt Energy Corp. (CEC), which buys power from the state-owned electricity company and sells to mines, slashed supply to Mopani to 94 MW from 130 MW following a dispute over new, higher tariffs.

“Power supply to our assets in both Kitwe and Mufulira remains restricted despite a court injunction ordering the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) to restore supply,” the firm said in a statement.

“We urge CEC to honour the power agreement that was signed with Mopani. CEC’s current inability to do so puts Mopani’s investment in Zambia at risk,” it said, referring to an earlier agreement.

The government in April proposed introducing a flat tariff of 9.30 U.S. cents/kilowatt hour (kWh) backdated to January for mining companies, instead of individually negotiated rates that have averaged 6 U.S. cents/kWh. Mining companies opposed the plan. (Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by James Macharia)

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