December 13, 2017

Sapp countries increase power generation capacity

An uplifting development to emerge in a gloomy economic environment is that respective Southern African states are narrowing the gap between the demand and supply of power, if recent information from the Southern African Power Pool (Sapp) is anything to go by.

Statistics from Sapp indicate that the Sapp 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, exceeding its generation capacity targets for 2016 by 11%.

These included projects in Angola 780MW; Malawi 10MW; Mozambique 175MW; Namibia 15MW; South Africa 2,550MW; Tanzania 150MW; Zambia 300MW and Zimbabwe 200MW. The projects were commissioned by both public utilities and independent power producers (IPPs).

Generation mix

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%).

Refurbishment

In addition to the new generation capacity, several old power stations have been refurbished. These included projects in Angola 780MW; Malawi 10MW; Mozambique 175MW; Namibia 15MW; South Africa 2,550MW; Tanzania 150MW; Zambia 300MW and Zimbabwe 200MW. The projects were commissioned by both public utilities and independent power producers (IPPs).

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

In the pipeline  

Part of the Sapp’s plan for the future is to continue to facilitate investment in new generation and transmission capacity, with up to 28,264MW of possible projects being identified. In 2017, the member states are planning to commission a total of 3,672MW from Angola (1,727MW), Botswana (120MW), Democratic Republic of Congo (150MW), Malawi (6MW), Mozambique (40MW), Namibia (70MW), South Africa (1,234MW), Tanzania (120MW), Zambia (55MW) and Zimbabwe (120MW).

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