Charmaine Brown Herald Reporter
The SADC region is set to commission power generation capacity amounting to 22 747MW in a five-year period from 2019 to 2023, a development that is expected to strengthen the region’s energy security. This was said by Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Magna Mudyiwa while officiating the 53rd Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) management committee meeting in Harare on Thursday.
SAPP is a regional body that coordinates the planning, generation, transmission and marketing of electricity in Southern Africa on behalf of member state utilities.
Deputy Minister Mudyiwa said SADC region plans to increase power generation in the next five years and several massive generation projects will be implemented.
“The SADC region plans to commission power generation capacity amounting to 22 747MW in the five-year horizon from 2019 to 2023 averaging 5 200MW every year. This, coupled with corresponding investments in transmission needed for this power, will no doubt underpin the SADC Industrialisation Agenda that has been agreed upon as the main focus in the region. Beyond 2020, several large generation projects will be implemented among which we have great INGA project, which the Democratic Republic of Congo intends to implement in collaboration with the Republic of South Africa and its traditional funders which are AfDB and World Bank,” she said.
The deputy minister said the SAPP meetings will create opportunities for private power companies in the supply of electricity in the SADC region.
“The meeting is a move that will create opportunities for private power companies to participate in the supply of electricity in the SADC region. The thrust of exploiting renewable energy projects being embarked on by many of the SADC countries is bringing a lot of private power developers into the sector and it is only proper to give them the space to operate regionally.
“The meeting will also help stakeholders to look at various issues from the planning, project, preparation, operations, markets and environmental areas,” she said.
SAPP management committee chairperson Mr Alex Kadiayi also said the power pool will continue improving access to power through the regional grid.
“SAPP has the capacity to improve access to power through having a better renewable energy regional grid, allowing the smooth transfer of electricity between and among SADC member states,” he said.