Monday, July 4, 2022

SADC needs over 7000 MW power to meet growing demand

The ongoing power outages in the SADC region, with the exception of Mozambique, will persist until 2015 despite new projects being undertaken.

The SADC region needs 7709 megawatts to meet surging demand for electricity despite the fact that 75 percent of its inhabitants still find their energy source literally in the woods.

Firewood remains the energy source for cooking, heating and lighting for low income earners in the region who cannot afford modern energy sources.

Senior Programme Officer in the SADC Energy Division, Freddie Motlhatlhedi, has told The Sunday Standard that the scenario is not expected to change at least until 2030.

While the region’s power needs are huge in the meantime SADC is focused on several ambitious power projects.

According to Motlhatlhedi, the government of Norway and SIDA have availed NOK 35.25 million (about P50.4 million) for the implementation of the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) to create a competitive electricity market and capacity building between March this year and February 2016.

The European Union itself has provided the SAPP with 1.2 million Euros (about P12.8 million) as funding for technical capacity building programme for the period beginning January this year until December 2015.

The African Development Bank is funding the packaging of the ZIZABONA interconnector power project which involves Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe by US$1.995 million.

Zimbabwe’s power utility ZESA, Zambia’s ZESCO and Namibia’s NamPower have since signed the Joint Development Agreement while the Botswana Power Corporation BPC is yet to sign the agreement.

Motlhatlhedi said that the next step will see Eskom and CEC to being informed of shareholding in the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). Project financial is expected to close by the end of this year.

Two weeks ago, Aggreko Plc signed Tri-Party Power Purchase Agreements (TPPA) with Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM), the Mozambique power utility and NamPower, the Namibian power utility, to provide 122 MW of gas-fuelled power from the Aggreko interim power plant located at Gigawatt Park at Ressano Garcia, Mozambique.

The agreement followed the authorisation by EDM for the direct supply of power by Aggreko Plc to NamPower. It is expected that the installed capacity of 122 MW will be split between the two utilities with EDM utilising up to 32 MW and NamPower up to 90 MW, based on the specific needs of both utilities.  ?  ?Aggreko built the facility at Ressano Garcia in 2012 as part of an ambitious project in which it became the first cross-border, interim Independent Power Provider to the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).

Under the first phase of the project, which started power production in July last year, Aggreko and its joint-venture partner Shanduka supplies power to EDM for national energy requirements in Mozambique, and also generates power for the South African utility ESKOM.

The project is currently providing 110 MW of power to the two utilities, and has enabled Aggreko to offer additional power to other members of the SAPP, which is one of the largest interconnected grids in the world and links the power networks of nine countries in Southern Africa.

┬á Rupert Soames, Chief Executive of Aggreko plc, said in a prepared statement: “This new project will make Ressano Garcia the world’s largest cross-border interim power plant, with over 232 MW of gas-fuelled power generation. It underlines the immense potential of the Southern African Power Pool to be a real conduit of cooperation and development among the countries of Southern Africa.

The fact that three national utilities are collaborating to support each other’s energy requirements is testament to the benefit of working together for the common good.” ?┬á ?While Paulinus Shilamba, Managing Director, NamPower said: “This innovative approach to securing an effective power supply for the people of Namibia is a great example of the spirit of Southern African cooperation. This unique project will contribute to the provision of a reliable power supply across Namibia and support the continued development of the country.” ?┬á ?For Augusto Sousa Fernando, CEO of EDM the second phase of the Aggreko interim power plant at Ressano Garcia, “will assist EDM and its partners in the SAPP to bridge the period until we implement our permanent plants in Mozambique.”

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