The Chamber of Mines is engaging financial institutions for a US$20 million facility for the importation of power from regional suppliers.

The engagement between the Chamber of Mines and financial institutions was revealed in a letter written to members seeking buy-in for the US$20 million power pre-paid facility proposed by ZESA Holdings.

ZESA Holdings has been engaging industry for the importation of power from the region considering the low foreign currency allocation to acquire the required power to sustain industrial production.

In a letter to mining firms, Chamber of Mines chief executive officer Mr Isaac Kwesu said a number of banks have shown interest in assisting mining companies, adding that members can be referred to other banking institutions that are willing to take part.

ZESA Holdings is importing power from regional suppliers owing to low power generation capacity and in some instances they are pre-paying close to US$6 million weekly while they get at least US$1.5 million foreign currency allocation from the central bank.

The willingness by stakeholders to take part in the power prepayment shows the importance attached to the availability of power within the economy and more avenues must be explored to ensure there is adequate power supply.

The power utility is generating an average of 1100 mega watts out of peak demand of 1600 mega watts which leaves a huge deficit being filled by imports from South Africa and Mozambique.