Zambia: Ndola Prepaid Metres to Be Replaced

ZESCO has embarked on a project to replace the smart card prepaid meters in Ndola at an estimated cost of US$4.7 million (KR23.5 million).

Company principal public relations officer Yammie Zimba said management was still studying the matter as it did not want to inconvenience the customers unnecessarily through successive system changeovers.

Ms Zimba said the power utility company would soon announce its plans to replace the entire Ndola prepaid metres with an STS compatible system such as the one in Lusaka.

"Zesco management is still studying the matter keenly and will soon make a pronouncement on the roadmap to replace the entire Ndola system with an STS- compatible one such as the one in Lusaka so that our customers in Ndola can also enjoy the various vending options available and to promote the use on a common platform," she said.

Ms Zimba said the institution had sufficient resources in terms of the metering equipment and computer system spares to run the already existing smartcard prepaid metering system up to the end of 2014.

She has since assured the Ndola customers that they would receive maximum value from the prepaid system.

Of the customer base of 514,338 in the country, 473,028 customers were metered and about 392,246 of the metered customers are on the prepayment system.

The instalment of prepaid meters in different parts of the country was expected to be completed by March 2014.

Zesco has already procured enough STS meter stocks under the running contracts with Zambia Electrometer and Conlog Solutions to cover all parts of the country including Ndola.

Last year, Zesco installed metres in some provincial centres that include Chipata, Mongu, Solwezi, Kasama and Mansa and works were underway to put some meters in Mazabuka, Kapiri-Mposhi, Choma, Monze, Mpika and Nakonde.

Since the start of the installation project, about 92 customers in Lusaka were on prepaid meters while 80 per cent of the customers were on the Copperbelt.

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