SAPP member states plan more transmission interconnectors

Only 34% of the available electricity was traded between the Southern African Power Pool’s (SAPP’s) member states during 2016, this owing to the lack of transmission and distribution capacity in the region, said Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi at the 49th SAPP Conference of Meetings in Pretoria recently. The total electricity traded in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region during 2016 was 1-million MW (worth US$76-million) out of a possible 2,8-million MW.

Thava Govender, Abram Masango, Zethembe Khoza, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi, Ernest Mkhonta and Alison Chikova

Acting chief executive of Eskom Enterprises, Abram Masango, said that the utility has an operating surplus of energy available to empower economic growth in the region. The challenge, according to the utility, is to focus on strengthening the transmission interconnections between the various countries in the region to allow the sharing of the available power.

SAPP management committee chairperson Ernest Mkhonta, said that electricity will be supplied to the regional power pool through existing projects, such as the Zizabona interconnector project which will link Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia; the interconnector that will connect Angola to the southern Africa power pool; the Mozisa transmission line between Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa, and the transmission interconnector between Botswana and South Africa.

On the generation side, the SAPP member states commissioned 4180 MW of additional generating capacity from new projects and the rehabilitation of old power plants. These projects were in Angola (780 MW); Malawi (10 MW); Mozambique (175 MW); Namibia (15 MW); South Africa (2550 MW); Tanzania (150 MW); Zambia (300 MW) and Zimbabwe (200 MW). These projects were commissioned by both public utilities and independent power producers.

The generation mix for the new power plants commissioned in 2016 came from hydro (43%), gas (24%), solar (11%), wind (10%), coal (7%) and diesel (5%).

By the end of April 2017, the member states had an installed generation capacity of 59 539 MW and operating capacity of 54 397 MW against a demand and reserve requirement of 53 478 MW.

The SAPP member states are planning to commission a total of 3672 MW of new generation from Angola (1727 MW), Botswana (120 MW), Democratic Republic of Congo (150 MW), Malawi (6 MW), Mozambique (40 MW), Namibia (70 MW), South Africa (1234 MW), Tanzania (120 MW), Zambia (55 MW) and Zimbabwe (120 MW).

A benefit of the SAPP is that once Eskom has commissioned the Medupi and Kusile power stations, more IPPs have joined the network, and the interconnections have been established in the SADC region, stable tariff increases in single digits can be expected, according to Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe.


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