User Portal

SAPP invites tenders for the ZiZaBoNa transmission project

August 2013
THE DEVELOPMENT of an electricity transmission interconnector linking Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia could soon become a reality following the invitation of investors to establish the transmission link.

The Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), which coordinates the planning, generation, transmission and marketing of electricity on behalf of utilities in the region, completed the tendering process in May and a number of investors are reported to have expressed interest in developing the electricity transmission interconnector.

Commonly known as ZiZaBoNa, the transmission interconnector project has the capacity to increase power trading among participating utilities, as well as providing an alternative route to decongest the existing central transmission corridor that passes through The ZiZaBoNa project is an example of regional cooperation and integration, and its completion would go a long way in ensuring that most SADC countries are able to share surplus energy.

Under the ZiZaBoNa agreement signed in 2008, all four countries' respective power utilities – Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and Namibia Power Company (NamPower) – are expected to finance parts of the project that fall within their national boundaries.

The initial capacity of the transmission interconnector will be 300 megawatts (MW), which will be later increased to 600MW. The project is to be implemented in two phases. The first phase will cover the construction of a 120-kilometre 330 kilo-volt line from Hwange Power Station to Victoria Falls where a switching station will be built on the Zimbabwe side.

The line will extend to a substation at Livingstone in Zambia. The second phase will involve the construction of a 300- km 330kV line from Livingstone to Katima Mulilo in Namibia, through Pandamatenga in Botswana. The Zimbabwe-Zambia interconnector will be built as a high voltage line with a transmission capacity of 430kV.

However, it will operate as a 330kV line during the first phase. When fully operational, the ZiZaBoNa transmission interconnector will, among other things, make it possible for NamPower of Namibia to import power directly from Hwange in Zimbabwe. Currently electricity from the Hwange Power Station is being routed to Namibia through South Africa.