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MBABANE – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy in conjunction with the Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC), intend to construct a 10 MW solar PV plant to be located in Lavumisa.

The Lavumisa 10 MW Solar PV Plant will form part of SEC’s portfolio of generating plants.
In an invitation to tender, it has been explained that SEC intends to develop the plant on two phases of 5 megawatts (MW) each.
It is anticipated that the plant will connect to a nearby Maloma 66 kV Substation situated 11 kilometres (km) away.

SEC wishes to procure the services for design, construction and commissioning of the facility, together with the entire required grid infrastructure to connect the plant to the grid.
It was stated that after commissioning, the project would be handed over to SEC who will then take the responsibility to operate and maintain throughout its economic life.
It was mentioned that the Kingdom of Eswatini relies on electricity imports from Eskom to meet the bulk of the country’s power supply needs.

Historically, the costs of the electricity imports have been relatively low due to the surplus generation capacity in the region.
Over the recent past few years, however, it has become clear that the region, and in particular Eskom, is facing power supply constraints.
As a result, the country may not be able to rely on imports from Eskom for maintaining security of supply, due to the recent sharp and unpredictable tariff increases from Eskom which are set to continue in the foreseeable future.
These developments prompted the Government of Eswatini to look closely at developing generation capacity within Eswatini to meet the country’s power supply needs.

SEC explained that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy established an Eswatini Independent Power Producers Policy (SIPPP), aimed at increasing the utilisation of local renewable energy resources including biomass and solar photovoltaic (“PV”) to enhance energy security and self-sufficiency.

“Eswatini as a member of the Sustainable Energy for All (“SE4ALL”) initiative has developed an action plan that is aimed at increasing the renewable energy generation in the national energy mix to 50 per cent by the year 2030,” reads the tender document in part.

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