28 April 2009

Southern Africa: SADC Power Bloc Offers Support for 2010 Cup

Johannesburg — THE Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) yesterday pledged to support SA and the 2010 Soccer World Cup in generating and transmitting electricity and in customer contributions and demand-side management initiatives, electricity utility Eskom said.

The pledge was made at a meeting that took place in Maputo, Mozambique, and is part of Eskom's plans to ensure the reliability of electricity supply for this year's Confederations Cup and next year's World Cup.

The pledge of solidarity among the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) countries would be backed by commercial agreements yet to be negotiated and signed separately between the SAPP members and Eskom. It would include initiatives that aimed at ensuring a targeted amount of power supplied, would be "green" power, said Eskom Project 2010 unit MD Johnny Dladla.

"We are delighted with the level of co-operation we are receiving from our SAPP counterparts. This initiative confirms that the 2010 Fifa World Cup is truly and indeed an African event," he said .

Some key parts of the agreement included ensuring adequate transmission capacity for the transfer of power to SA, preventative pre-event maintenance and clean servitudes, maximising plant production, energy efficiency initiatives and load curtailment during the events.

SAPP members would also engage in demand-side initiatives and manufacturers would be encouraged to slow production during the evening peak and increase production during the off-peak periods. Some might also take their plants off the grid for planned maintenance during game times, thus reducing pressure on the interconnected SAPP system.

The surplus power intervention would ensure that any surplus power capacity that SAPP members might have would be made available to Eskom as a contribution towards the two soccer events.

Major pre-event maintenance would be undertaken to ensure that maximum generating facilities would be continuously available to ensure reliability of supply.

SAPP chairman Rhodnie Sisala said the organisation was confident "that South Africans, the region and football fans from around the world who will be visiting our continent will be able to look forward to an unforgettable African World Cup".

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