by Samantha James

Power generation: mining

Independent power producers to help in delivery of more developed power network

Power generation set to grow with expansion of mines in southern Africa

The expansion of mines is set to trigger an increased need for electricity generation capacity. This, in turn, will fuel the development of the transmission and distribution (T&D) market in the region.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, "Southern African High Voltage Transmission and Distribution Market", covering Namibia, Botswana and Zambia, finds that the market earned revenues of $327.4-million in 2012 and estimates this to reach $393.4-million in 2016. The research includes high-voltage switchgear, high-voltage cables, and high-voltage transformers.

“The mining sector, the largest consumer of electricity in southern Africa, will catalyse the high-voltage T&D market in the region,” noted Frost & Sullivan’s energy & environmental research analyst, Muneera Salie “Mining is the most prominent driver of electricity demand and economic growth. Therefore, reliable power supply to this sector is crucial.”

While the need for increased electricity generation is evident, the region is still unable to meet the current load demand. Plans to enhance power generation will therefore, necessarily, involve significant investments in generation and transmission infrastructure as well.

“The region has to focus on developing the interconnectivity between countries in the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP),” added Salie. “This will alleviate the struggle to meet an individual country’s load demand. The cost of imports is high, and countries need to ensure greater independence in terms of their power needs.”

African countries have a reputation of resisting the integration of independent power producers (IPPs). This perception is changing.

“The entry of IPPs into the market will help governments meet technical and financial challenges, assisting in the development of southern Africa,” said Salie. “It has been proven that IPPs easily attract the funding required for projects and could support the region in the delivery of a more developed T&D network.”


"Southern African High Voltage Transmission and Distribution Market" is part of the Energy & Environmental Growth Partnership Service programme. Frost & Sullivan’s related research services include: "The Future of Namibia and Energy", "Financing Energy Projects in Africa", and "Overview of the Key Uninterruptible Power Supply Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa".

All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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