Aug 22, 2012
SA Cabinet approves Grand Inga power treaty with DRCBack
SECURITY|Africa|Botswana Power Corporation|CoAL|Energy|Eskom|Flow|Gas|Hydropower|Nuclear|PROJECT|Projects|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Security|System|Africa|Europe|Angola|Congo|Democratic Republic Of Congo|Egypt|Mozambique|Namibia|Nigeria|South Africa|Zambia|Security|Cross-border Energy Project|Energy|Energy Infrastructure|Flow|Nuclear|Potential Energy|Power Generation|Power-generation|Renewable Energy|Security|Congo River|Brian Dames|Dipuo Peters|Infrastructure|Inga II|Inga III|Jacob Zuma|Jimmy Manyi|Joseph Kabila|Power|Security
© Reuse this
The project, which would be developed on the Congo river in several standalone phases, could eventually yield as much as 40 000 MW of capacity.
It would allow for the two countries to jointly explore different economically feasible options for the development of what could emerge as the largest-ever cross-border energy project undertaken in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Cabinet said the two countries would also seek support for the initiative from other African countries, especially from its partners in the SADC region.
The Congo river had been identified as a major potential energy source more than four decades ago, but had failed to move beyond the Inga I and Inga II, which were commissioned in the 1970s and 1980s.
Prior to the treaty process, the next significant phase, dubbed Inga III, was meant to have been developed by an entity known as Westcor, whose shareholders included the DRC’s Société Nationale d'Électricité Société a Responsibilité Limitée (SNEL); ENE, of Angola; NamPower, of Namibia; the Botswana Power Corporation; and South Africa’s Eskom.
But progress on the proposed 3 500 MW to 5 000 MW project stalled, reportedly owing to DRC disquiet over some of the structural arrangements. The treaty was designed to reinitiate the process under a regime more acceptable to the host country.
Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said that “different times” and “different dynamics” had led to previous failures to advance the project, but that the South Africa government was confident of delivering this time around.
“The project will form part of South Africa’s government strategy to promote renewable energy in the region, contribute to a reduction of carbon emissions, ensure security of supply and develop energy infrastructure on the continent and the SADC region in particular,” Manyi added.
A technical committee comprising senior officials from both countries drafted the formal accord. The drafting team was established following the signing, in November 2011, of a Grand Inga memorandum of understanding at a ceremony presided over by Presidents Jacob Zuma and Joseph Kabila.
The treaty was also viewed as a precursor to the initiation of negotiations on an implementation agreement, which South Africa hoped would begin before year-end.
Energy Minister Dipuo Peters indicated recently that she was considering the issuance of Ministerial determinations to open the way for further power generation projects in line with the Integrated Resource Plan for electricity.
The plan, which was unveiled in early 2011, envisaged the integration of 2 609 MW of imported hydroelectric power into South Africa’s power mix between 2021 and 2023. This initial capacity is expected to flow from countries such as Zambia and Mozambique. However, both Zuma and Peters have indicated that Grand Inga is receiving priority attention.
It is understood that Eskom and SNEL would also enter into an agreement to facilitate the execution of the project.
Eskom CEO Brian Dames said recently that initiatives were under way for the creation of a high-voltage “super grid” across Southern Africa by 2030. Such a system would be able to integrate renewable energy, nuclear, coal, gas and hydropower.
“We think the Southern African electrical system should leverage the hydro on the north [of the continent] all the way to the Congo . . . and leverage the gas fields of the east and the west,” Dames stated.
Should it eventually proceed, Grand Inga could be developed into an emission-free-power hub, almost equal in size to South Africa’s current installed base. In fact, South Africa’s newly released National Development Plan 2030 argues that the project could even provide power, through interconnecting links, to southern Europe.
To reach its potential, three major African interconnection projects would be required: the northern highway, between Inga and Egypt; the southern highway, between Inga and South Africa; and the western highway, between Inga and Nigeria.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Updated 3 hours ago South African engineering union Numsa has agreed to end a four-week strike after accepting a wage increase offer from employers, union leader Irvin Jim said on Monday. Numsa, South Africa's largest union, has accepted a 10% annual pay rise fixed for three years for...
Updated 3 hours ago Trade union Solidarity on Monday accepted the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa’s (Seifsa’s) revised wage offer. The three-year wage agreement, settled within the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC), comprised...
Updated 4 hours ago South Africa will use the upcoming US-Africa Leaders' Summit, which will also encompass the 2014 edition of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) Forum, to appeal for a 15-year extension of the nonreciprocal trade arrangement, as well as South Africa’s...
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...