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Zambia to spend 20 mln USD to procure energy saving bulbs

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government said on Tuesday that it intends to spend about 20 million U.S. dollars on the procurement of energy saving bulbs as one way to reduce the country’s electricity deficit.

Zambia has continued facing a power deficit which has seen the country’s power utility rationing power for four hours on a rotational basis.

Emeldah Chola, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Water Development, said the bulbs to be distributed to customers will save the country about 200 megawatts at a cost of 400 million dollars.

In remarks delivered at the start of a stakeholders’ meeting on energy efficiency indicators in Lusaka, the country’s capital, the official said the government has since provided a number of incentives such as tax exemptions on energy saving bulbs and renewable energy technologies to encourage consumers on efficiency use of the available electricity and to venture into alternative sources of energy.

The power utility, she said, has been distributing energy saving bulbs for free countrywide and that over 1.6 million bulbs have been distributed so far.

Zambia has been experiencing a power deficit since June last year due to low water levels in its reservoirs, a situation that resulted into a severe deficit of about 1,000 megawatts in December and eight hours of power rationing.

The government is currently implementing an efficiency quick actions and electricity indicators project being supported by the European Union (EU) under its Technical Assistance Facility, she added.

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