Southern Africa projects additional 27,000MW of electricity by 2018

Southern Africa in 2013 cut its power deficit to 3,000 Mega Watts (MW) and projected to add another 27,000 MW by 2018, as the region ramp up electricity generation to meet growing demand.

Musara Beta, an analyst at Southern Africa Power Pool, said on Thursday that the region currently has a peak demand of 54,000 MW against generation capacity of 51,000 MW.

According to him, the shortfall was narrowed to about 7,000 MW a year ago, as new power comes on stream and more people in the region use energy saving bulbs.

“What we are planning to commission in the next four years to 2018 is around 27,000 megawatts.

“These are projects that are under construction,” Mr. Beta said during a mining summit in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital.

He said that most of the new electricity would come from South Africa, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Zambia.

Mr. Beta also projected that power generation would surpass demand by the end of 2016.

Zimbabwe is one of the countries in the region hardest hit by electricity shortages, forcing home owners and industries to endure long hours of power cuts, known locally as load shedding.

He said that work started last month to expand its Kariba hydro power plant by 300 MW, but several other projects which could generate up to 2,000MW in new electricity remain on the back burner due to lack of funds. (Reuters/NAN)

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