SERA GRANTS UBOMBO SUGAR 25-YEAR POWER GENERATION LICENCE
SERA GRANTS UBOMBO SUGAR 25-YEAR
POWER GENERATION LICENCE
UBOMBO SUGAR Limited has been granted a 25-year long power generating licence by the Swaziland Energy Regulatory Authority (SERA), becoming the first Independent Power Producer (IPP) to be fully licensed as a power generating company in Swaziland. The company contributes 10 percent of Swaziland’s national needs.
The licence is for the production of 41 megawatts (MW) from renewable resources and SERA’s chief executive officer Vusumuzi Mkhumbane, when handing over the licence to Ubombo Sugar’s managing director Oswald Magwenzi, said it was a great milestone for both SERA and the sugar company. He said Swaziland imports at least 60 percent of its power from neighbouring countries and shortage of power is an issue that currently affects the whole Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
Ubombo’s Oswald Magwenzi said the company started generating power around 2011 and that the licensing would contribute to the country’s strategic objective of being self-sufficient in energy. Ubombo Sugar’s increase in its power production has resulted in the reduction of electricity imports from Mozambique and South Africa from 80 per cent to 60 per cent, Mr Mkhumbane said.
Ubombo’s MD said the increase in power production was due to the increase in sugar cane production as a result of the increase in outgrowers under the Lower Usuthu Smallholder Irrigation Project (LUSIP). “The more sugar cane we receive, the more we could increase our power production,” he said, adding that the company’s target is to contribute between 15 to 20 per cent power by the time they are at full production stage in 2017. Increasing their co-power generation will make the company sustainable and Ubombo Sugar would continue investing in the country if opportunities avail themselves.
The company would continue providing the best service in power production through adhering to the stipulated conditions attached to the licence.
AT LEFT: SERA CEO Vusi Mkhumbane (left) shakes hands with Ubombo Sugar Limited MD Oswald Magwenzi after the awarding of the 25-year power generation licence on 3rd December 2014. ABOVE: SERA and Ubombo Sugar Limited staff members sealed the deal with a group photo.