Feb 2024 2nd edition

Investment in power transmission critical

Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, says on-boarding new generating capacity, particularly renewable energy, is critical to ensuring that additional capacity is added to the national grid.

He recently gave an update on the implementation of the Energy Action Plan, which aims to relieve pressure on the electricity system.

Minister Ramokgopa explained that tremendous progress is being done to ensure that solutions are found for transmission.

“As the President said… the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity is now given the responsibility to ensure that we are able to go into the market to procure or to access the financing in relation to the transmission side.

“We have been doing an extraordinary amount of work. The team was [at the World Economic Forum annual meeting] in Davos. Part of the conversations was to enter into bilateral discussions with some of the potential financiers.

In terms of financing, he said the private sector is willing to come into the space of transmission.

“We had conversations...with the heads of missions that are represented here in the country and they did confirm the availability of that financing,” he said.

Minister Ramokgopa assured that although private sector participation is being encouraged in the transmission space, the South African government will remain the owner of the grid through the Eskom-owned and newly established National Transmission Company of South Africa.

“What we have been doing is to find an architecture and legal configuration on how best we are going to access [funding] and one of the areas that is receiving attention is the possibility of us putting together…something that is akin to the Independent Power Producer Procurement office on the generation side…an Independent Transmission Project office.

“[This is] to ensure that we are able to procure with speed, agility, applying some degree of innovation and ensure that we are able to access that liquidity that’s sitting with the private sector without relinquishing state ownership of the grid,” he concluded.  –SAnews.gov.za

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