SAPP needs US$96 billion for power projects

By Timo Shihepo

Ezulwini – The Southern Africa Power Pool {SAPP} needs US$90 billion to install 130 gigawatts (130 000 megawatts) of new generation investment by 2040.

It also requires US$6 billion for transmission interconnectors by 2024. This was said by SAPP Coordination Centre acting manager Alison Chikova at the SADC energy and water summit here last week.

Priority power transmission projects include the construction of the ZiZaBoNa Interconnector linking Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia, as well as the establishment of the Angola-Namibia interconnector that will connect the former to SAPP.

The World Bank and the African Development Bank have expressed keen interest on these projects.

The SAPP has an installed capacity of 62 GW {62 000 MW} but only 54 GW {54 000 MW} is available at the moment.

SAPP has embarked on 10 transmission projects aimed at ensuring that all its members are interconnected by 2020 and that the regional grid is strengthened to facilitate greater power trading by 2024.

The proposed interconnector involves the construction of power transmission lines from the proposed Baynes Hydropower Plant in Lower Kunene, Namibia, to link to the national power grid of Angola. This project involves the section in Angola. The objective of the project is to evacuate power from the Baynes Hydropower Plant in Namibia to Angola and the SAPP grid.

Once completed, the new interconnectors are expected to promote regional power trade, enhance security of electricity supply and foster regional trade.

They are expected to decongest existing transmission corridors and provide another wheeling path that will fully integrate all mainland SADC countries to the regional power grid.              

“Most countries in SADC are in power deficit but if you look at the power available in the region it actually shows that there is an energy surplus. It’s just a question of how we trade this power amongst ourselves,” said Chikova.

Chikova then said that the aim is to install 5000 MW into the SAPP every year.

“Some projects are already in progress others need funding but we have institutions who have expressed their will to fund these projects.”

All mainland SADC countries, with the exception of Angola, Malawi and Tanzania, are interconnected to the regional grid through SAPP, allowing them to trade in electricity.

Swaziland prime minister Dr Sibusiso Dlamini said it was encouraging to see the level of support for implementation of the Demand Side Power Station Concept, which is being promoted by the SAPP.

He said the region should now fast-track the creation of an enabling regulatory environment, with smart incentives for energy efficient initiatives. He said this should be done while also building the necessary capacity in the public sector and private sectors.

Swaziland’s minister of natural resources and energy Jabulile Mashwama said it was good to see that member states had prioritized several power generation. This, she said, included the interconnector and transmission infrastructure projects under the Southern Africa Power Pool plan.

“It is also encouraging to see other energy infrastructure being developed and implemented by individual member states including those on increasing gas and refining capacity in the region.”

July 2017
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