SEC to build E200m so­lar power sta­tion

Swazi Observer - - NATIONAL NEWS - By Lun­gelo Nkam­bule

IN a quest to give In­de­pen­dent Power Pro­duc­ers (IPPs) con­fi­dence in the lo­cal mar­ket, the Swazi­land Elec­tric­ity Com­pany (SEC) will con­struct a E200 mil­lion so­lar power sta­tion at Lavu­misa.

Mak­ing his re­marks dur­ing the 2016/2017 an­nual re­port launch, SEC Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Me­shack Kunene said the com­pany was wor­ried that IPPs were shun­ning the coun­try, hence they had seen it fit that they lead the way and show them that it is doable.

Kunene stated that the com­pany had signed at least 20 mem­o­ran­dums with IPPs but to date noth­ing had ma­te­ri­alised and ev­ery time they made fol­low-ups with the IPPs, they were not forth­com­ing what the prob­lem was.

“Our guess is that th­ese peo­ple come here with their pitch and say they have the money which isn’t the case and then use the mem­o­ran­dums to source fund­ing,” he said.

He said with this in mind, the com­pany de­cided to con­struct the so­lar sta­tion down at Lavu­misa and hope that this would give the IPPs con­fi­dence.

“We did a 10MW So­lar PV study at Lavu­misa.

Ideal We reckon it would be ideal to build a so­lar sta­tion down at Lavu­misa be­cause of good sun ra­di­a­tion in the area. We also want to stim­u­late devel­op­ment in the area be­cause there is very lit­tle devel­op­ment. We also want to bring con­fi­dence to in­vestors who would like to do same in the coun­try.

Our fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies show that it would cost us roughly E200 mil­lion to build the power sta­tion,” he said.

Ex­ec­u­tive Mem­ber Luke Mswane said the com­pany was ac­tu­ally wor­ried and fur­ther dis­ap­pointed in the IPPs it signed MoUs with be­cause they had made them look like liars.

“If you con­sider the num­ber of MoUs and con­tracts we have signed, it is quite sur­pris­ing that not even one has started work­ing.

We have even be­come liars be­cause ev­ery time we sign an MoU we ex­cit­edly re­port to the board and years later, noth­ing has hap­pened and we must ex­plain to the board,” he said.

Min­is­ter of Nat­u­ral Re­source and En­ergy Jab­ulile Mash­wama also stated in Par­lia­ment early this year that the com­pany would roll-out this project.

She said since the un­bundling of the gen­er­a­tion space in 2008, there had been many IPPs who had come for­ward with pro­pos­als but not even one had ac­tu­ally done the work, hence the de­ci­sion to have the lo­cal com­pany build its own power sta­tion.

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