Power shortage in Sadc to continue

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Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) the regional power grouping, yesterday said the region has a shortfall of power and would not meet the required demand before 2014 when lined up transmission projects had been completed.

The regional power pool requires $83 billion and $5,6 billion respectively for power generation and transmission projects.

Addressing delegates at a three-day international energy and power conference SAPP coordination centre manager Lawrence Musaba said the region received funding from its 12 member countries including Zimbabwe, Development Bank of Southern Africa and World Bank for capital projects.

“We don’t have all that money that is why we want the private sector to come into the power sector,” said Musaba.

“There is a shortfall in the region and there are no reserves and don’t have the capacity to meet demand. We don’t have capacity for enough energy, maybe after 2014, provided the projects are commissioned and planned on time.”

Musaba said the regional grouping was migrating from a cooperative to competitive power pool at a time when the region was running out of generation reserve surplus capacity.

He said regional power demand was 50 214 megawatts (MW) and last year power peak demand was 45 566MW.

The transmission projects expected to boost regional power output would be carried out in Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia -Tanzania, DRC, Angola and South Africa. Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development Justin Mupamhanga said the country was facing power shortages due to low output from local generating assets.

He said current output stood at 1 350MW from a possible a capacity of 1 720MW.

“The Zimbabwean government has a clear route map in terms of augmenting power availability. We are looking at coal-bed methane which we believe can bring relief to this country quickly,”

Mupamhanga said. He said the country was also working on the Batoka hydro-project that is expected to produce 1 600MW for Zimbabwe and Zambia.

“Modalities are being carried out to make the project start. We are looking for investors to look at these projects,” he said.

Mupamhanga said work on the implementation of prepaid meters and the distribution of fluorescent bulbs to consumers and solar development through the Rural Electrification Authority was in progress.

He said the increase in the tariff structure was meant to encourage the efficient use of electricity and to enable investors to get a return on their money.