$300 MILLION REGIONAL POWER POOL ON CARDS | The Regional Electricity Regulation Association of Southern Africa (Rera) says it is working on a $300 million energy transmission line to feed into Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia’s national grids.
Rera executive secretary, Elijah Sichone made the disclosure in an exclusive interview with Southern Eye yesterday, saying the idea was mooted following a realisation that the majority of countries in the region were unable to generate electricity to meet their domestic needs.
“That line will mean that we can share energy regionally, so right now it is just a question of mobilising support and we start.
“Regional projects are complex because of situations in those different countries like Zimbabwe has less mobilised resources, so the African Development Bank will assist,” he said.
Sichone is one of the delegates attending a regional power conference in Victoria Falls.
“There is another line being proposed between Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa, all those are efforts to mitigate energy problems,” he said.
“We produce 54 000 megawatts (MW) regionally to meet a supply of 53 000, which means that we have excess of 1 000MW, but that is not practical, countries must be measured individually because only Angola, South Africa and Mozambique are able to meet the demand, hence, an effort to invest on projects.”
Sichone said lack of infrastructure meant it was difficult to share power from energy rich countries to energy poor ones.
“Angola alone has excess hydro-electricity that stands at 6 000MW, but the challenge we have is transmission constraints and, hence, there is need to invest in new equipment that can supply the region.
“Our transmitters are too small and old. We are behind in terms of transportation systems to evacuate the power from where it is generated to where it is needed.”