SADC shortlists nine power projects to attract investors

powerstation-Angelsharum-WCThe Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) has identified nine high-priority energy transmission projects valued at over US$4bn for promotion and marketing to potential investors

According to officials at the 34th Summit of Heads of State and Government held at Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls, these projects are at various stages of development and include the flagship ZiZaBoNa Interconnector Project.

The ZiZaBoNa Interconnector will be implemented by Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia. Other high priority projects include the Central Transmission Corridor (CTC), Mozambique Backbone Project, Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya Interconnector and the proposed Namibia-Angola Interconnector.

Remmy Makumbe, director of infrastructure and services at SADC Secretariat, a joint utility steering committee consisting of officials from the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) and Eskom of South Africa has been formed to steer the CTC project and terms of reference for technical and commercial teams have been developed.

“ZESA, in conjunction with Eskom, is studying current network configuration and capacity, and is reviewing all possible technical options available for the CTC project to increase network transfer capacity,” Makumbe said.

The ZiZaBoNa project is an example of regional cooperation and integration. Its completion would ensure that most SADC countries can share surplus energy. Under the project agreement signed in 2008, power utilities of all the four countries are expected to finance parts of the project that fall within their national boundaries — ZESA, Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), and Namibia Power Company (NamPower).

The initial capacity of the transmission interconnector will be 300MW, which will be increased to 600MW later. The project will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will cover the construction of a 120 km, 330kV line from Hwange Power Station to Victoria Falls where a switching station will be built on the Zimbabwean side. The line will be extended to a sub-station at Livingstone in Zambia.

The first phase will involve the construction of a 300 km, 330kV line from Livingstone to Katima Mulilo in Namibia, through Pandamatenga in Botswana. The Zimbabwe-Zambia Interconnector will be built as a high voltage line with a transmission capacity of 430kV.

However, it will operate as a 330kV line during the first phase. When fully operational, the ZiZaBoNa transmission interconnector will, among other things, make it possible for NamPower to import directly from Hwange in Zimbabwe. Currently, electricity from the Hwange Power Station is routed to Namibia through South Africa.

— Nawa Mutumweno

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