• Eswatini is trying to bring down its reliance on South Africa’s Eskom to fulfil its electricity needs by aiming to add renewable energy in the short term
  • It has launched a registration of interest round for stakeholders who may be interested in helping the country set up 40 MW of solar and biomass capacity each in the short term
  • It aims to create a database of parties interested in participating in the development of this capacity through competitive procurement process to be conducted by the country’s Energy Regulatory Authority

Swaziland whose name has been officially changed by its King Mswati to Eswatini is looking to diversify its energy mix with the help of renewables as it sees imported electricity from South Africa’s Eskom not fulfilling its electricity requirements since the latter itself is short of power supply. In order to reduce its reliance on imports and stimulate the development of energy sector investment in the country, the government sought to register interest for participating in the development of new generation capacity in April 2019.

Under the Short-term Generation Expansion Plan (SGEP), the country’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy (MNRE) aims to procure 40 MW of solar PV power by 2020, followed by 40 MW of biomass in 2021 through competitive procurement process for independent power producers (IPP). The auction process will be conducted by the Eswatini Energy Regulatory Authority (ESERA) in co-operation with the MNRE.

Government is currently working out a consultation process it plans to conduct with other stakeholders on the auction process. The registration of interest documents for 40 MW each for solar PV and biomass will help the administration create a database of parties interested in participating in the development of the new power generation capacity in Eswatini. With the last date for registration being April 26, 2019, it invited all developers, investors, financiers, EPC contractors, O&M contractors, and the like.

While the above is required for the short-term energy needs of the country, its long-term Integrated Resource Masterplan for the energy sector provides a roadmap over 20 years duration, ESERA stated.

In June 2018, Eswatini launched a request for qualification for EPC contractor for 10 MW Lavumisa Solar PV Plant (see 10 MW PV Tender In Swaziland).