New power line for Angola, Namibia

By Tichaona Kurewa

VICTORIA FALLS-THE Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) says it is coordinating plans to construct a new power transmission line between Angola and Namibia to improve connectivity and electricity trade-off between the two neighbours and Southern Africa at large.

The Transmission Interconnector Project will be known as ANNA and the SAPP Coordination Centre will oversee its implementation.

The project is being sponsored by Namibia Power Corporation (Pty) Ltd (NamPower), Rede Nacional de Transporte de Electricidade (RNT) of Angola with the Development Bank of Southern Africa administering the support funds. The funds were sourced from the Infrastructure Investment Programme for South Africa and Project Preparation and Development Fund, the government of Norway and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

According to SAPP, the interconnector is expected to link the electricity networks in the north-western part of Namibia and the southern part of Angola and initially supply power to towns in southern Angola mainly Xangongo, Cahama and Ondjiva. This transmission line would also make provision for the integration of the proposed Baynes Hydro Power Station into the NamPower and RNT electricity networks.   

SAPP, on behalf of RNT and NamPower, is inviting proposals from consulting firms to provide transaction advisory services from feasibility studies up to financial closure for the proposed transmission interconnector project between Angola and Namibia.

“The objective is to interconnect the Angolan and Namibian power systems, complement other regional supply initiatives by increasing the power transfers within the SAPP network, increase stability in the power pool through additional interconnection between the strong versus weak networks, which has been a source of SAPP grid instability, improve system control, adequacy and reliability of power supply and deepen regional integration that will facilitate improved electricity trading,” it said.

SAPP was created in April 1995 through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) treaty to optimise the use of available energy resources among countries in the region and support one another during energy emergencies.

Southern Africa has experienced a period of unprecedented growth in the utilisation of electricity in the last 10 years largely as a result of the boom in prices of natural resources. The region had enjoyed a long period of excess generation capacity and abundance of transmission facilities to move power from the generation facilities to the customers.

Since 2007, the region has run out of excess generation capacity and many regional transmission lines are now congested.

There is now a realisation among all SAPP member utilities to cooperate in developing new generation and transmission facilities primarily to increase the efficient utilisation of the sustainable sources of energy that exist throughout Southern Africa.

Apart from ANNA, SAPP is also coordinating the construction of two more new powerlines namely MO-ZI-SA connecting Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa and BOSA linking Botswana and South Africa.

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