Harare – The SADC region’s quest for energy self-sufficiency is on course with 17 projects at various stages of development under the Priority Action Plan for Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA PAP 2).
The 17 are part of 63 projects being undertaken in the region.
The projects came under the spotlight at the recent virtual SADC Council of Ministers meeting hosted by Mozambique.
The Council of Ministers discussed policies, strategies and programmes geared towards consolidating SADC regional integration in fulfilment of the Council’s mandate as spelt out in Article 11 of the SADC Treaty.
“Notable progress has been recorded in the preparation and implementation of priority interconnector projects to connect Angola, Malawi, and the United Republic of Tanzania to the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) grid.
“The Mozambique-Malawi interconnector reached financial closure in September 2019 and is at construction stage. The target is to commission this project by the end of 2022. The Zambia-Tanzania interconnector includes several components and is at construction phase on both the Zambian side and Tanzanian side where the two transmission lines were designed to converge near Nakonde Border by 2022,” SADC said this week.
Other ventures in progress include Julius Nyerere hydro (Tanzania), Kafue Gorge Lower hydro (Zambia), the Second Alaska-Sherwood (Angola-DRC); the Malawi-Zambia Baynes transmission project; the Mozambique-Tanzania interconnector; and the Mozambique integrated transmission backbone.
Others that are at preparation stage are the Caculo Cabaca hydro (Angola); the Lesotho Highlands hydro; Songwe (Malawi-Tanzania); Mpanda Nkuwa, Cahora Bassa North Bank hydro and Boroma hydropower and Temane gas (all Mozambique); Baynes hydro (Namibia); Rumakali and Ruhudji hydro (Tanzania); Luapula, Mulembo Lelya and Kalungwishi hydro (Zambia), and Batoka Gorge hydro (Zambia-Zimbabwe).
“A study to create an enabling environment for developing energy projects has been commissioned. Establishment of the Regional Transmission Infrastructure Financing Facility (RTIFF) which has already identified core services and institutional arrangements under which RTIFF can operate is expected to be concluded by the end of March 2022 after consideration by Council,” added SADC in a statement after the Council of Ministers meeting.
Phase 1 of the Regional Gas Master Plan was concluded last October and covered gas demand and supply assessment, gas market study and capacity building needs. The second phase covering the soft and hard gas infrastructure blueprint for the Region will commence during the first quarter of 2021/22 financial year.
To keep pace with demand and benefit members, SADC is prioritising greater integration to leverage economies of scale, reduce the cost of electricity infrastructure development save the region US$1.1 billion a year in energy costs.