Namibia: Power pool to boost energy generation

ERERA Power lines26 September 2013, Windhoek – The Southern African Power Pool, SAPP, plans to commission 17 000 megawatts of capacity by 2016 with corresponding transmission upgrade.

This is according to the SAPP Management Committee chairperson, Julian Chinembira, who said that priority transmission projects especially those associated with interconnecting non-operating members of the SAPP are being pursued to be on schedule for the commissioning.

The non-operating countries are Angola, Malawi and Tanzania. Chinembira said this during an interview on the sidelines of the 41st SAPP Executive Committee meeting that concluded last week Thursday in Walvis Bay. The meeting was held by electricity utilities in Southern Africa to deliberate on power planning and development issues in the region.

Chinembira highlighted the implementation of generation and transmission projects by SAPP as important and vital to the region to increase depressed reserve margins of electricity and to reduce load shedding. Load shedding, he noted, scares away investors. “We are all aware that the SAPP is coordinating the implementation of the ZIZABONA and the Central Transmission Corridor (CTC) projects. These two are critical and play a major role in terms of opening up transmission capacity between northern and southern Africa for permitting increased energy trading between the regions,” he explained. The ZIZABONA project involves Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia. The project, an acronym for the four countries, is a US$225 million transmission iniproject that will develop new transmission lines to link the four neighbouring countries.

According to Chinembira, the SAPP has two directives of which the first directive is focused on the review of the organisation’s founding documents in order to embrace the new mandate of project coordination. “The second directive is to ensure that the regional Energy Access Strategy and Action Plan, formulated by the SADC region is aligned to the sustainable energy development for all initiatives aimed at scaling up access to modern energy services,” he further explained.

He also highlighted the theft of SAPP equipment by unscrupulous parties as of great concern, saying that theft is costing the region millions of dollars in lost equipment. “A report will be presented to the management committee on how the region is to work together to combat the theft of member utilities’ equipment,” he said.

The SAPP was created in August 1995 when ministers responsible for energy in SADC signed an inter-government MoU that led to the creation of a power pool under the name, Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) in order to optimise the use of available energy resources in the region and support one another during emergencies.

– The Era

About the Author