ENERGY Minister Matthew Nkhuwa says every productive sector in the economy relies on the provision of energy, making it imperative to efficiently manage the sector through a policy framework that meets the ever rising challenges.

Speaking during the launch of the National Energy Policy (NEP) 2019 in partnership with the European Union (EU) in Lusaka on Tuesday, Nkhuwa said policy and regulations were key components of a wider sector reform road map.

The policy seeks to drive the nation towards universal access to clean, reliable and affordable energy at a low cost.

Nkhuwa said in order to increase competitition in the electricity sector, a more efficient decision making would  be needed based on least cost planning and competitive processes for the procurement of new generation and transmission.

He said the NEP 2019 incorporated current developments not only in the energy sector and the entire economy but also the regional and international environment.

The policy would enhance the development of the electricity generation, transmission and distribution capacity.

“In this regard, infrastructure development will be promoted and the development of small and micro hydro power stations will be encouraged,” he said.

Nkhuwa said the policy would further enhance cost effectiveness and efficiency in the supply of petroleum products by putting in place an efficient mechanism for the procurement of petroleum strategic stocks.

“The policy will encourage the promotion of setting up petroleum businesses in rural areas through public-private partnerships,” he said.

The NEP would further promote the establishment of an open and non-discriminatory transmission access regime in the electricity sub sector and envisioned the implementation of a cost reflective electricity tariff regime as well as the adoption of the electricity grid code.

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