September 7, 2017 / 3:14 PM / 6 months ago

Southern Africa beats target for new power generating capacity

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Southern African countries have exceeded their 2016 power generation targets by 11 percent, South African Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said on Thursday.

The South African Power Pool (SAPP), a regional industry collaboration linking up national grids which was created in 1995, commissioned 4,180 megawatts of new generating capacity last year, ahead of a 3,757-MW target.

“The region has for the first time in the last decade moved the region from a supply deficit to surplus,” Kubayi told a regional power conference.

The capacity came from various projects in the region with South Africa, the largest contributor, increasing its generating capacity through independent power producers and new units coming on line at coal-fired power stations.

SAPP states include Angola, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, and Tanzania.

South African power utility Eskom said last month it would start selling more of its surplus capacity as new plants, including new coal-fired plants at Kusile and Medupi, come on line.

Eskom sells its surplus electricity to several southern African countries, including Zimbabwe and Namibia, as SAPP members. (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Ed Stoddard, Greg Mahlich)

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