EEC Planned Major Capital Projects

  1. Edwaleni Stonehenge 132kV Transmission Project – Budget allocation: E116M
  2. South East Transmission Network Reinforcement Project  - Budget allocation: E202M
  3. Design & Implementing Pigg’s Peak substation – Budget allocation: E30M 
  4. Off-grid solution pilot study – Budget allocation E3.5M 
  5. Maguga expansion feasibility study for 10 MW Lower Maguga Hydro Power – Budget allocation: E75M  
  6. Lubhuku Coal Thermal Power Station Feasibility Study Project 
  7. Lavumisa Solar PV Power Station 10MW  - Budget allocation: E200M

The Eswatini Electricity Company (EEC) has had an inspiring performance in the year ended 31st March 2018 realising increasing profits compared to the previous year. Our fundamental purpose has always been to help power economic growth and raise the living standards of the people of Eswatini. It is in this light that the company has found it befitting to reinvest about E300million of its profits back into the economy.

EEC has committed these funds towards expanding the country’s internal generation capacity and as well embark on transmission network reinforcement projects as stated in its Network Master Plan 2017. Below are some of the projects the company the company is involved in:

1. Edwaleni Stonehenge 132kV Transmission Project – Budget allocation: E116M

EEC has awarded contracts for construction of a 132kV transmission line from Edwaleni II Substation to Stonehenge in an effort to strengthen the security of electricity supply to the Western grid and to provide reliable power supply to the Northern part of Eswatini.

The line will be 55km and will utilise the existing 66kV and 11kV servitudes for approximately 30 km of the total line length. The remaining portion of the new line will be on open servitude.

The scope of this project includes 132kV feeder bays at both substations, 55km 132kV Lynx line with OPGW on lattice towers connecting the two substations and an upgrade of the Malkerns and Siphocosini Substations to improve reliability of supply in that area. The project has commenced and is expected to be completed in 2021.

The Stonehenge Depot
The Stonehenge Depot.

2. South East Transmission Network Reinforcement Project - Budget allocation: E202M

EEC continues to improve the performance of its systems and is developing transmission network reinforcement projects required to support economic activities in the South East region of the country.

EEC saw the need to undertake a grid reinforcement initiative to address capacity and related voltage challenges on the South Eastern 66kV transmission network in and around the Maloma, Nsoko, Big Bend, Riverbank and St. Phillips customer supply areas. Network studies indicate that the 66kV network around these areas suffers massive under-voltage, particularly in the summer months, when irrigation of sugarcane fields is at its peak and the Ubombo Sugar Limited (USL) generation is out of service for any reason.

The EEC South East grid is very important in ensuring the success of agricultural projects in the South Eastern parts of Eswatini; namely the Lower Usutu Small-Holder Irrigation scheme (LUSIP II).

This project further reinforces the communication systems through the introduction of an optical fibre link between Big Bend and Ncandweni Substation. This will also improve the performance of communication and information technology systems, and enhance the company’s position in the telecommunications infrastructure industry.

3. Design & Implementing Pigg’s Peak substation – Budget allocation: E30M

EEC will be rehabilitating its Pigg’s Peak Substation, which supplies power to the forestry, hospitality and plantation industry in the northern part of the country as well as the residential customers including the Pigg’s Peak Central Business District (CBD). The objective is to increase capacity to supply the increasing load to customers in the CBD and surrounding areas.

This project involves fully equipping the station with control and fault discrimination capability including an indoor 11kV switchboard. Once completed, there will be ease of operation for the Pigg’s Peak substation and minimised outages. This project will commence in May 2019 and is expected to be completed by 2020.

4. Off-grid solution pilot study – Budget allocation E3.5M

As part of the rural electrification programme, EEC seeks to increase rural electrification access by providing an Off-grid solution to effectively service customers in remote areas. The Company has therefore, embarked on a pilot project which seeks to address the challenges of providing access to electricity to inaccessible areas within the Kingdom where grid electricity is challenged. It involves the installation of Solar Photo Voltaic (PV) stand alone or Off-grid connection, where each household will have solar PV panels installed on the roof and wired to provide power totally independent from the EEC grid connection.

Once fully implemented, this initiative will assist in the provision of power to isolated and inaccessible places, and aid EEC in minimising the costs of servicing rural customers. This project will eventually be handed over to the community, with continuous training conducted for all the identified homestead dwellers. The Off-Grid project is expected to commence in April 2019.

EEC will install solar PV panels at selected households as part of the Off-Grid solution project
EEC will install solar PV panels at selected households as part of the Off-Grid solution project.

GENERATION EXPANSION:

5. Maguga expansion feasibility study for 10 MW Lower Maguga Hydro Power – Budget allocation: E75M

The success of the existing Maguga Hydro plant has made EEC to consider exploring the potential of adding extra generating equipment on the existing plant as well as constructing another power station about 7km downstream of the current one. A qualified and competent firm of engineering consultants has been engaged to carry out the full feasibility study.

Expanding the Maguga Power Station will increase the local generation capacity by 10MW and decrease the dependence on imported power. The extra generation units will also ensure that some of the excess water, which normally spills during the rainy seasons, is used to generate power.

The study includes further investigation on a potential to develop a 10MW site down Maguga Hydro Scheme, which will utilize the existing Maguga dam, making it more beneficial to the country’s economy. The intention is to take advantage of the remaining capacity below 35% of Maguga Dam level at the down-stream hydro plant.

The current Magugua Hydro Power Station.
The current Maguga Hydro Power Station.

6. Lubhuku Coal Thermal Power Station Feasibility Study Project

EEC endeavours to provide baseload power for the Kindom of Eswatini using available natural resources. The goal is to increase power generation within the Kingdom of Eswatini bolstered by a feasibility study towards a thermal power project earmarked to produce about 300 Megawatts. EEC has committed funds towards this project and is currently procuring the consulting form that will undertake the feasibility study. The revised project plan, indicates that the project will be completed in November 2019.

7. Lavumisa Solar PV Power Station 10MW - Budget allocation: E200M

EEC has considered renewable energy using Solar PV as a viable option to increase its generation mix and help combat the impacts of greenhouse gases emitted by decreasing fossil fuel consumption for power generation. To this end, EEC has committed to developing a 10MW Solar PV Plant in Lavumisa Qomintaba as part of the company’s strategy to increase internal generation mix, thus improving sustainability. A feasibility study for this plant has been conducted. It was discovered that it would be feasible to develop this plant at Nhlalukane in the Qomintaba area. This will be the first Solar PV plant to be owned and operated by EEC. The EPC contact for this project will be announced in April 2019 following a lengthy development process. Its commercial operation is expected to be in December 2019.

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