$225 Million â€˜Zizabonaâ€™ Power Interconnector
To Be Officially Unveiled
All Africa Global Media, July 13, 2012
A $225 million power interconnector project, adding a new western leg to north-south transmission links between Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa will be officially unveiled at an investor conference in Namibia this week.
Dubbed â€˜Zizabonaâ€™, after the sponsoring
countries, the project is ranked as a Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP)
priority project and a flagship African Union regional integration initiative.
Energy Ministers from the four Southern
African Development Community (SADC) countries are expected to sign agreements
supporting the construction of a power line running from Zambia, through
Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to reinforce the SAPP power grid.
The feasibility has been funded by the
Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and it is anticipated that potential
lenders and investors will register their possible participation at the
Swarkopmund event, which takes place on July 12.
The projectâ€™s first phase wheeling
capacity will be 300 MW, but there is potential to double the capacity to 600
MW at a later stage.Â DBSAâ€™s acting group executive for the international
division, Josephine Tsele, says Zizabona will become a landmark regional
transmission energy project.
She adds that it will increase
transmission capacity, as well as the reliability between northern and southern
SADC countries, while facilitating regional power trade through the SAPP.
It will ease congestion on a transmission corridor to South Africa, the
region's largest consumer of electricity which is battling to meet demand. It
also will allow the four countries to export more power and to trade energy
with each other via a regional power pool.
The project also will allow easier transmission of hydropower from the
Democratic Republic of Congo to South Africa and the rest of the region.Â "The
four utilities will develop, build and own the transmission infrastructure.
This project seeks to reduce losses and congestion on the SAPP central
corridor," said Musara Beta, an official from Zimbabwe's ZESA.