Power leaders converge in SA for energy expo
A VIP delegation of over 40 key power sector stakeholders from 10 sub-Saharan African countries including Namibia is in Johannesburg for Africa’s premier power sector expo and conference.
POWER-GEN and DistribuTECH Africa 2017 started on 18 July and will end on 20 July at the Sandton Convention Centre. The event has over 3,000 power industry stakeholders, utilities and sub-Saharan government officials from pan-Africa and abroad.
The delegation includes government and utilities representatives, independent power producers, engineers and consultants from across the continent, who are attending POWER-GEN and DistribuTECH Africa to network, assess new technologies, and seek business partners as they roll out new infrastructure across the continent.
With full diaries and high expectations, the delegates said they would stage three days of high-level meetings with pan-African and international power sector players, to help fast-track projects in their countries.
Fillemon Nakashole, CEO of Nored Electricity Namibia, is seeking to reduce procurement costs by connecting directly with key vendors at POWER-GEN and DistribuTECH Africa, and Nyasha Bamhare, CEO of Samansco Zimbabwe, intends to network with suppliers and raise interest in the potential for solar power sector in Zimbabwe.
“I think renewables like solar are the answer to filling the gap between long-term baseload projects and the need people have right now,” Bamhare said. He will be among several of the sub-Saharan African delegates who will also present papers at the conference.
Washington Mareya, General Manager Projects at Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), said he uses the POWER-GEN and DistribuTECH Africa platform to support his research and identify consultants and potential business partners as Zimbabwe takes its latest hydro project online.
“We’re got a massive project off the ground and we are now 90% complete on 2 x 150MW as an addition to the existing Kariba South Power Station, which will bring the total installed capacity to 1050MW. We are also in the process of taking off on the Hwange expansion project. We have stepped up our delegate numbers to POWER-GEN and DistribuTECH Africa to three this year, since we believe it is an excellent networking and knowledge sharing platform as we work to increase our installed power base in Zimbabwe. If I encounter a challenge, I turn to the consultants and skills database I’ve built here,” he said.
Consultant Paul Kambalame of CPCS Transcom International in Uganda said the cutting edge presentations and solutions exhibited at POWER-GEN and DistribuTECH Africa helped inform his consultancy: “Once we have an idea of where the industry is going, in our case with regards to innovative approaches to financing, we can go back and give our clients better insights into industry trends.”