In 1953, almost 11 years before Zambia gained its political independence, a privately-owned power utility called Rhodesia-Congo Border Power Corporation was born. The Company was primarily established to own and operate the interconnected grid on the Copperbelt linking into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to support the sourcing, transmission and supply of power to the respective mining operations. Over the years, the business has changed names and ownership, grown and diversified, innovated and modernised but remains true to its design at the core. In 1966, post Zambia’s independence, the Company became known as Copperbelt Power Company (“CPC”), and in 1982 it became Power Division under Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM); and later emerged as the Copperbelt Energy Corporation Plc (CEC) in 1997, post the privatisation of ZCCM.
Over 60 years on, the Company continues to be the backbone of the country’s mining sector and creates shared value for its shareholders and all stakeholders. CEC has grown in leaps and bounds with a traceable success record – ranking atop the list of the most successful offshoots of Zambia’s privatisation programme. With its insatiable appetite for re-invention and growth, the Company prides itself for possessing a pioneering spirit, anchored on its rich heritage, immense experience, curiosity and a philosophy to continually satisfy its customers.
To provide quality and reliable energy solutions to its customers, CEC owns and operates multi-million-dollar power
infrastructure on the Copperbelt that includes transmission and distribution assets, generation assets and power quality support equipment. More than 1,000 kilometres of transmission lines at 220kV and 66kV, 43 high voltage substations and a transmission interconnection between Zambia and the DRC make up much of CEC’s extensive power network which covers the entire Copperbelt Province. This infrastructure base enables CEC to source power from national utility ZESCO and, in combination with internally generated resources, provide power supply services to majority copper mines on the Copperbelt. As one of the country’s flag carriers, CEC has spread its operations
beyond Zambia’s borders with its operational footprint currently covering the neighbouring DRC. Since 2013, the Company has leveraged its infrastructure base to supply power to copper mines in the DRC and has now set up base there following incorporation of CEC-DRC SARL, a subsidiary located in the Katanga region.
Determined to expand its role in Zambia’s electricity supply industry, CEC’s ambitions over the short and medium haul include the development of renewable energy generation capacity derived from different sources, such as solar, hydro and wind. In March 2018, the Company commissioned its flagship solar PV plant on the Copperbelt, the country’s first grid connected solar plant. Just about a year later, CEC and its consortium partner, French firm InnoVent SAS, were awarded by the GET FiT Zambia Solar Program to develop 2 by 20MW each of solar PV projects; both situated in Kitwe’s Garneton area.
CEC exists to create and deliver value to its stakeholders who include the Government, customers, investors and shareholders, employees, suppliers of goods and services and the community in which it operates. To achieve that, the Company continuously evolves its business strategy.
The Company’s value creation to the economy of Zambia goes beyond taxation. A company majority owned by Zambian institutions, CEC provides quality direct employment to about 400 Zambians, through whom it contributes to the country’s human capital development in addition to the many programmes it offers to the education sector through social investment and its employability initiative. More than 4,000 individuals own a part of CEC as shareholders who have invested through the Lusaka Securities Exchange (“LuSE”). CEC listed on the LuSE in January 2008 becoming the first power utility in Zambia to do so. The CEC remains one of the most traded stocks on the Exchange and has afforded its retail shareholders an opportunity to actualize their capital gain. From a return perspective, CEC has consistently provided its shareholders with one of the highest dividend yields on the LuSE with its current dividend yield at approximately 19%.
CEC’s corporate social investment carries along communities near and far because the Company considers itself a national asset, whose contributions and impact cover not only the people within its physical operating geography. The influence of these investments in health, education, youth development, female empowerment, sport and social infrastructure are told best and authenticated by the beneficiaries themselves.
As Zambia marks its 55th independence, CEC reasserts it unmatched expertise and ability to continue energising the country’s economic engine – mining. The Company joins the country in toasting the many years of freedom enjoyed in peace and unity and as we journey on to economic prosperity.