Southern African energy ministers see action to reduce power shortfall

Energy ministers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) acknowledge a 1,000-MW shortfall in the 14-nation region, but anticipate a series of short- and long-term solutions including the hydropower-based Western Power Corridor Project (Westcor).

Meeting April 25 at Harare, the SADC ministers said members of the region’s Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) would undertake short-term generation projects to add 6,700 MW by 2010 at a cost of US$7.88 billion. Additionally, members are to undertake long-term generation projects adding 32,000 MW at a cost of US$32 billion. (HNN 12/20/06)

The SADC ministers issued a statement highlighting �the likely contribution of Westcor as a renewable large-scale hydroelectric power generation, power transmission, and broadband telecommunications project.�

The Westcor plan, including Angola, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Namibia, and Botswana, calls for new transmission to link 6,500 MW of new hydropower projects in Angola’s Kwanza River Basin, in addition to the DRC’s proposed giant Inga hydroelectric complex on the Congo River.

The second stage of 520-MW Capanda Dam is being completed on the Kwanza, 400 kilometers north of Luanda, Angola. (HNN 4/27/07) The proposed 3,500-MW Inga 3 hydropower project is seen as the first step in a 40,000-MW Inga complex. (HNN 4/16/07)

The SADC ministers noted Westcor has hired a chief operation officer following its incorporation in Gaborone, Botswana. The project is expected shortly to finalize a business plan as a showcase for investors.

The Botswana-based SADC includes Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

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