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Abram Masango, Eskom Enterprises Acting Chief Executive Officer

The Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) member states exceeded their generation capacity targets for 2016 by 11%.

The SAPP member states commissioned 4 180MW of new generating capacity from new projects and rehabilitation of old power plants compared to a targeted 3 757MW last year. These included projects in Angola 780 MW; Malawi 10 MW; Mozambique 175 MW; Namibia 15 MW; South Africa 2,550 MW; Tanzania 150 MW; Zambia 300 MW and Zimbabwe 200MW. The projects were commissioned by both Public Utilities and Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

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%). These are some of the highlights that were discussed at the 49th SAPP Conference of Meetings earlier this week at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria.

SAPP today, 7 September 2017, officially opened its Management Committee Meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, following preparatory meetings of the SAPP sub-committees which commenced on 5 September 2017.

The theme for the conference is Meeting demand through regional cooperation, sustainable projects implementation and efficient regional electricity trading.

Eskom, an integral member of the SAPP, announced at the opening of the conference that it had turned the corner and now had an operating surplus of energy available to support the region and empower economic growth. The challenge, the utility stated is to now focus on strengthening the transmission interconnections between the various countries in the region to allow the sharing of the available power, says Abram Masango, Eskom Enterprises Acting Chief Executive Officer. 

“Eskom stands ready to supply electricity to the region, allowing the growth of all our economies, creating an increased demand for electricity, which in turn will stimulate the regional power generation sector,” he said.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region’s future has never looked brighter as all the regional electricity utilities collaborate through their SAPP membership and confirm their commitment to each other and to empowering economic development for all.

Part of the organisation’s plan for the future is to continue to facilitate investment in new generation and transmission capacity. In 2017, the member states are planning to commission a total of 3,672 MW from Angola (1,727 MW), Botswana (120 MW), Democratic Republic of Congo (150 MW), Malawi (6 MW), Mozambique (40 MW), Namibia (70 MW), South Africa (1,234 MW), Tanzania (120 MW), Zambia (55 MW) and Zimbabwe (120 MW). 

“In addition to the new generation capacity, a number of old power stations have been refurbished.  The SAPP has effectively removed its overall supply deficit and future plans of members indicate an intention to continue adding capacity with up to 28,264MW of possible projects being identified” says Acting SAPP CC Manager Alison Chikova.

As of 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. 

“After many years of deficit, it is rewarding to see the region as a whole having a supply surplus.  We need to increase the focus on transmission interconnection to ensure the overall surplus result in an end to deficits in each country,” concludes Chikova.

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