03 Sep 2013 10:40
WALVIS BAY, 03 SEP (NAMPA) - The 41st Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) executive committee meeting being hosted by the Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower), was officially opened here on Tuesday.
The four-day meeting is being attended by specialists in the field of electricity from countries within southern Africa.
It provides a forum for the specialists to deliberate on important power planning and development issues within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, NamPower Managing Director (MD) Paulinus Shilamba said the SAPPs vision is to facilitate the development of competitive electricity markets, where electricity end-users within SADC will have a choice of supplier.
To realise this vision, the SAPP is in the process of transforming from a cooperative pool to a competitive power market, where the trading of both physical and financial contracts will be realised.
This is being advanced through the Coordination Centre in Zimbabwe, aimed at taking care of new challenges, including those associated with the transformation from the Short-Term Energy Market (STEM) to a competitive electricity market in the form of a Day-Ahead Market (DAM).
In addition, the process will see the completion of the Pool Plan, the completion of the SAPP Telecommunications Study, as well as the completion of the Transmission Environmental Guidelines, Shilamba explained.
The pool plan requires all involved SAPP members to present their various electricity generating projects, such as NamPower's Kudu Gas project in the case of Namibia. The body will then amongst others look at how far the project has been developed, and whether it is feasible.
Shilamba also noted that the envisaged initiatives will have wide-ranging beneficial effects on the SAPP and its stakeholders.
The MD further mentioned that SAPP has developed a strategic masterplan which amongst other things focuses on highlighting key stakeholders in the power pool; priority generation and transmission projects in SAPP member countries; environmental issues in SAPP; marketing of projects in SAPP for investors awareness; and donor support activities.
Therefore, the discussion during this session will be based on the principles of this strategic plan and on the current environment of a diminishing generation surplus compared to the growing electricity demand, Shilamba added.
Also speaking during the opening, Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Willem Isaack stated that the SAPP should facilitate the speedy attainment of regional integration in the energy sector.
Some of these initiated regional integration projects, Isaack explained, include the Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia (ZIZABONA) project; the Malawi/Mozambique interconnectors and Central Transmission Corridor.
The projects should be implemented as a matter of urgency to foster and promote the regional integration agenda at energy level, he told those present at the meeting.