- South Africa has signed a Power Purchase Agreement with its neighbour Mozambique in order to bolster’s its energy grid.
- Mozambique will sell 300MW of electricity to South Africa within the next three months, with a total of 1 000MW to be delivered within the next 12.
- Eskom has managed to reduce loadshedding recently through improved renewable generation and reduced maintenance.
South Africa will begin buying electricity from its neighbour Mozambique, according to the national cabinet. South Africa, although wealthier and more developed than Mozambique is looking to bolster its national energy grid, which is in the midst of a historical crisis.
Cabinet has welcomed the signing of a Power Purchase Agreement with Mozambique, which will see the country supply 100MW of electricity within the next three months, with a goal of 1 000MW highlighted within the next 12 months.
Last year in October, as the blackouts across the nation ramped up, then Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said that the utility would be looking to South Africa’s neighbours for help with the power supply, especially countries like Zambia and Mozambique.
De Ruyter said at the time that it would take 18 to 24 months for auxiliary power to start trickling in from other countries and renewable generation plants. This would eventually begin easing loadshedding.
South Africa has enjoyed some respite after the first half of 2023 was marred with high levels of blackouts. In May, Eskom issued a warning that high electricity demand and low power generation output would mean that the winter months of June, July and August could see Stage 8 loadshedding – three four-hour loadshedding blocks a day.
However, as of June, the utility has surprised its detractors by keeping outages to the lowest levels all year with a combination of only performing the bare minimum maintenance, bolstering supply with increased levels of renewable energy generation and aft usage of diesel generators.
Aiding Eskom’s effort is reduced winter demand from the public.
Cabinet issued a statement, saying that it “extends its appreciation to South Africans for their contribution in lowering the demand for electricity, which has contributed to Eskom being able to maintain lower stages of load shedding.”
Eskom hopes to completely end loadshedding within the next two to three years, and the South African government is pushing and investing to make sure this happens. It recently approved Turkiye’s Karpowership to dock off the country’s coasts, in the hopes of generating 1 220MW of extra electricity.
Government also received a heft donation from BRICS ally the People’s Republic of China to the tune of R167 million towards loadshedding reduction efforts. The donation includes the gifting of “emergency and small-scale generation equipment”.
“A deployment plan is being developed to ensure the donated equipment is installed in public facilities which will, as a result, be isolated from load shedding. A formal handover ceremony will take place as soon as the goods are cleared by South African customs authorities,” Cabinet said.
[Source – SA News]