Energy Deputy Minister Manga Mudyiwa has today, in Harare, officially opened the 46th Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) Executive Committee Meeting where Southern African Development Community (SADC) use a collective approach to issues that concerning the region in the Power Sector.
The Deputy Minister, speaking during the official opening, challenged the committee to collectively address the situation of low rainfall in the Zambezi basin, impact of Cyclone Idai and system disturbances so that the power condition returns to normalcy where possible and to minimise the impact of such challenges.
“This meeting could not have come at a better time than this when hydro-based generation North of the Limpopo is being adversely affected by below normal rainfall,” Mudyiwa said.
“In addition, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have been severely affected by Cyclone Idai, resulting in injury and loss of life as well as to loss and destruction of infrastructure. The electrical infrastructure was not spared and I am advised that in Mozambique, the Songo-Apollo HVDC line was affected when a tower collapsed.”
The Power Development Deputy Minister also went on to say that the region continues to operate under a generation supply deficit.
“It is the genuine desire of SADC Ministers of Energy to have the region out of this generation and supply deficit as soon as practically possible,” Mudyiwa said.
“I am informed that the current installed generation capacity in SAPP amounts to 68,869 MW (Megawatts). Out of this, about 55,181 MW is operating against demand and reserve of around 57,335 MW, giving an operational deficit of around 2,154 MW.”
“New generation installed capacity amounting to 4,175 MW was commissioned in 2018, of which 25% was renewable energy,” Mudywa went on.
Although there are challenges affecting the Power Sector, the Deputy Minister acknowledged the strides made by SAPP in fulfilling the SADC objectives in the Electricity sector.
“We take cognisance of the various efforts being put by all SADC member states that will result in around 21,349 MW of a new generation capacity being commissioned between 2018 and 2022,” Mudyiwa said. “I am also encouraged by your collective and least cost generation expansion approach in the region and that to this end, you have a SAPP Poll Plan to guide your generation expansion projects.”