Saturday, September 25, 2021

SADC to beef up its power supply

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) says it will increase 30 000MW on its grid in order to address the supply deficit that has grappled the bloc for over a decade. 

This was said recently at a Southern African Power Pool conference which was held in Francistown.

The new power projects will be commissioned between 2018 and 2022.

The current installed generation capacity in the amounts to 58 000MW; out of this about 47 000MW is operating against a demand of around 53 000MW, giving an operational deficit of around 6 000MW.

Among the new projects is the proposed $4 billion Batoka Gorge project to be executed by Zambia. The project is anticipated to add up to 24 000MW.

Whilst there has been notable progress in implementing generation projects, the same could not be said for transmission projects. Transmission projects are critical to evacuate the power from generation sources to various load centres within the region.

There are still a lot of transmission constraints that are affecting electricity trading among the SADC member states. In 2016, 66 percent of the energy that was matched and available for trading on the competitive market could not be traded due to transmission constraints.

SAPP has three of its members (Angola, Malawi and Tanzania) that are non-operating and still not connected to the rest of the SAPP grid. However, a number of transmission projects have been identified to remove transmission congestion and also to interconnect the three members of SAPP.

SAPP is also operating four products on its competitive market platform that include, month ahead, week ahead and hour ahead markets.

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