SEC TO GENERATE 494MW POWER BY 2025
THE Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) aspires to generate a maximum of about 494MW of electricity by 2025.
This is part of the utility’s generation expansion plan which seeks to cut heavy reliance on imported power.
According to the SEC’s 2016 annual report, the utility spent over E900 million on electricity imports in the past year.
The report said the utility was targeting different generation technologies, including coal fired thermal power generation, solar photovoltaic power generation and thermal power generation using biomass.
“A number of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and Power Agreements have been signed with Independent Power Producers(IPPs) who will develop some of the above mentioned power plants under the Build Own Operate then Transfer( BOOT) principle,” said the report.
The targeted plants include KaLanga solar power plant with a capacity of about 850 Kw, Lavumisa solar power plant 5MW, Lower Maguduza Hydro 12MW, Ngwemphisi Hydro120MW, solar power plants at various locations targeting 56MW and Lubhuku Thermal Power Plant 300MW.
Some will be developed by SEC while others are still under investigation through feasibility stud- ies undertaken by the company.
“Through the development of these plants, it is expected that Swaziland will have sufficient local power generation and reduce reliance on generation imports,” said the report.
The regulator recently licensed the Lower Maguduza Hydro-Power Scheme which is championed by MiddleLusutfu Hydropower (Pty) Ltd. The project, worthE700 million, will operate under the BOOT arrangement.
This means the project will then be handed over to SEC after 25 years.
During the project site visit held in November last year, Middle Lusutfu Hydro power Chief Executive Officer Richard Gordon said the power plant would increase local generation by 12MW after internal losses, which is about 20 per cent in proportion as SEC’s local generation only edges at 60MW.
The scheme seeks to reduce electricity imports by E70 million per annum.
About 70 per cent of the project capital will be raised through the bank and 30 per cent from shareholders which are the implementing companies, Old Mutual, Public Service Pensions Fund (PSPF) and the Swaziland National Provident Fund (SNPF). The lending bank is Nedbank. The power station is anticipated to switch on at least during the last quarter of 2018 and the commercial operation date is anticipated for mid-2019.
This is part of the utility’s generation expansion plan, which seeks to cut heavy reliance on imported power.