The nine SADC nations on the SAPP grid are Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The non-participation of these three countries in the regional power grid means that any new generation capacity installed in either Malawi, Tanzania or Angola is not enjoyed by the other nine SAPP members, and the reverse, hence the need to connect all the 12 member states on the SADC mainland.
SAPP co-ordination centre manager, Steven Dihwa, said the regional power pool has made strides in making sure all the SADC nations on the mainland were connected on the regional electricity inter connections.
The other SADC states are the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles but these are on the Indian Ocean hence it is not feasible to have them connected on the SAP grid.
Dihwa said SAPP was making strides to connect the three nations, and the regional power pool had so far established a relationship with the East African power pool, so as to easy the process of connecting Tanzania with the other SADC nations.
“A lot of serious work has been done to connect these three countries to the SAAP grid. So far, in a bid to connect Tanzania, we have engaged the East African Power Pool (EAPP), since the connection of Tanzania is going to take place through Kenya, which belongs to the Eastern power pool.
“Tanzania will be connected through the Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya interconnection, hence the need to work hand in hand with the East African power pool. We have so far established a co-ordination set up between our pool and the East African pool, and we are meeting quarterly to plan how it will be like when the two pools finally start sharing electricity.
“Already work has started in Zambia and Tanzania for specific lines within those two countries and soon we will be connecting them. Funding for this project is in place and I can confirm that all is going on well,” Dihwa said.
Malawi will join the grid through Mozambique and Dihwa expressed confidence that the Malawi-Mozambique interconnection project would reach completion sooner than the other connections being worked on at the moment.
“Actually, the Malawi-Mozambique inter connection project is the more progressed one, as compared to the other projects. As reported already, funding for this project is in place and all is going on smoothly. We have since completed feasibility studies and all the necessary commercial agreements have already been made.
“We have established committees between Malawi and Mozambique to jointly look at procuring contractors for this project, since all the paper work and the required finances are already in place.
“Before year end, we expect to award contractors and the construction work will commence,” he said.
On the other hand, a lot of work to connect Angola has so far been done, with the country being connected through Namibia.
“No country should be isolated from trading electricity with other SAPP member states, either through bilateral or SAPP markets. We are doing the best we can to make sure all of our 12 countries get to enjoy trade and sharing of power. In the case of Angola, just like the other two countries, a lot has been done in terms of the paper work.
“Angola will be connected through Namibia. We have already started working on the Angola-Namibia inter connecter project which involves the construction of power transmission lines from Baynes hydro power in Namibia to link the national power grid of Angola,”n Dihwa said.
Since its establishment in August 1995, the SAPP grid has so far managed to serve around 300 million people i its member states, with available generation capacity of 59 GW at a consumption rate of 400 TWh.
The generation mix of SAPP comprises of 62.05% coal, 2.94% solar photo voltage, 4.05 wind, 21.02% hydro, 0.97% concentrated solar power, 3.01 nuclear and others.
Malawi, Tanzania and Angola are set to be connected to the regional grid by 2021, with an additional 22.000 MW of electricity generation capacity to be added to the regional grid by 2022.