SEC to build E200m solar power station
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.