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MAJOR BIDS TO INCREASE POWER BY 80MW

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MBABANE – The country has set as an ambitious target, in the short to medium-term, to increase local power generation of about 80MW.


This is in line with the country’s Short term Generation Expansion Plan (SGEP) which stipulates that 40 Megawatts (MW) of power should be generated from Solar, while another 40 MW shall be generated from biomass.


Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Peter Bhembe, said this was mainly to ensure maximum use of locally available resources first before we can consider resources outside the country.


“In the medium to long-term, execution of this function shall be guided by the Eswatini Energy Master Plan, which has a planning horizon of up to 2034.
“Continuous review of this plan will ensure that the sector stays abreast with developments both regionally and internationally, as cost-effective plans shall then be adopted,” said Bhembe during the official opening of the new capacity procurement stakeholder workshop held at Esibayeni Lodge yesterday.


A competitve bidding tender process for the procurement of new renewable electricity capacity in Eswatini has been introduced.

Bhembe said the roll-out of projects from this new capacity procurement process would ultimately improve security of supply in the country and also insulate, to some extent, electricity prices from external shocks, therefore stabilising electricity prices and contributing to creating a predictable and sustainable business environment.


Pursuit


Bhembe said in their pursuit to create the most favourable environment for doing business in the kingdom, a cost reflective tariff migration plan had been developed to minimise the heavy cross-subsidy that exists between the various tariff categories, where customers were carrying a heavy burden, resulting in the cost of electricity for businesses being high in the country.


“To ensure the sustainability of cost reflective tariffs, the government has already approved a subsidy framework which was developed by ESERA,” disclosed Bhembe.



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