Message Ven 5 Sep 2014 15:00

Court orders KCM to pay CEC $60m bill

THE Lusaka High Court on Wednesday ordered Konkola Copper Mines to offset an over US$60 million outstanding bill for electricity supplied to it by Copperbelt Energy Corporation in accordance with a power supply agreement of 2000.

In this matter before judge William Mweemba, Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC), the plaintiff, wants Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), the defendant, to pay US$60,586,693, being the sum due and owing to CEC for the supply of electricity.

As at last April when CEC sued KCM, the outstanding debt was US$30 million which increased to current US$60 million as a result of ongoing electricity invoices.

CEC also wants the High Court to order KCM to pay the above monies with interest as well as the costs arising from the court matter.

The electricity power supply transaction was done pursuant to the Power Supply Agreement made between CEC and KCM on March 31, 2000 [as amended] where CEC agreed to supply and KCM agreed to purchase all its electricity power requirements.

In a statement of claim accompanying the writ of summons, CEC opined it agreed to sell electrical power to KCM which agreed subject to terms and conditions in the agreement.
“It was an express term of the agreement that the defendant was obliged to pay for electricity in the manner set forth in the agreement,” the claim read in part.

CEC submitted that in pursuance of the terms of the agreement, it had supplied and continues to supply electrical power to KCM.

“On the 2nd April 2014, 2nd May 2014, 2nd June 2014 and in accordance with the agreement, the plaintiff delivered invoices to the defendant in the total sum of USD40,458,473,473.13. Despite several reminders to settle its indebtedness in and breach of the agreement aforesaid, the defendant has only paid the sum of USD9,535,381.21 and has failed and/or neglected to pay the balance amounting to USD30,923,091.92,” CEC informed the High Court in its claim. “By reason of the matters aforesaid the plaintiff has suffered loss and damage. Further, the plaintiff is entitled to and claims interest in accordance with the agreement.”

And in an order made on Wednesday, judge Mweemba directed KCM to make and continue making payments to CEC on all issued invoices as presented on or before the due dates for the electricity supplied to KCM in accordance with the power supply agreement of March 31, 2000, which invoices date from April 2014 until final determination of the matter.

“Take notice that if you the within named defendant whether by yourselves, directors, servants, agents or otherwise howsoever fail to comply with this order, you will be liable to process of prosecution for purposes of compelling you to comply,” judge Mweemba cautioned in a penal notice.

He also disclosed that the inter-partes hearing of the main application would be heard in his chambers on September 30.