SAPP and MSB access guide launched to boost energy trading market

Martin Endjala

Namibia Electricity Control Board (ECB), NamPower and the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) have launched the modified single buyer market access guide to support Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

The launch which took place in Windhoek this week, aims to access the national and regional energy trading market, with support from the European Union programme.

Executive Officer in the Ministry of Mines and Energy Bryan Eiseb, who was speaking at the launch said the modified single buyer allows for new tech ability of electricity supply which allows local authority, regional and electricity customers to buy from IPPs both on a national and cross border level.

He said the launch would further enhance energy security in the country and the region, which will in return reduce energy dependency.

Eiseb reiterated that the goal of the ministry is to increase access to electricity for all Namibians as part of its universal access to electricity by 2040 because at the moment, 72 percent of Urban areas have access to electricity and four percent are in rural areas.

Moreover, he stated that the Ministry of Mines and Energy’s duty, is to unlock potential in the sector, by ensuring that it creates frameworks and a conducive environment for all energy role players.

ECB Chief Executive Officer Robert Kahimise, who also spoke at the same occasion, explained that Namibia’s decision to deregulate its electricity market is driven by the country’s objective to enhance the security of supply and its ambition to become Africa’s renewable energy hub.

He emphasised that a greater share of renewables in the power mix requires increased distributed generation and must provide clear technical and commercial rules for grid access and trading to both the hosting national utilities and various market participants.

“From a policy perspective, our MSB market model has opened the door to a whole range of new investors and enables exports into the SAPP markets. The guidelines offer vital information to anyone interested in tapping into this potential,” said Kahimise.

NamPower Managing Director, Simson Haulofu pointed out that pioneering any market reform does not come without its challenges and implementing the MSB market is no exception.

Haulofu highlighted that even though the guide may not resolve and answer all the technical and commercial questions, it provides a solid foundation to enable a common understanding for all potential and existing participants in the MSB and SAPP markets.

SAPP Coordination Centre Executive Director Stephen Dihwa, says the guide addresses the urgent need for consolidated information, and it will further assist IPPs in understanding and navigating the necessary processes and outlines the requirements for active participation in both markets.

He noted that SAPP has been successful in promoting the cooperation and coordination of the power sectors of its member states, including planning and operations activities of its interconnected grid, and the establishment of competitive electricity markets.

“While almost all electricity trading is still done by national utilities, SAPP member states are increasingly looking at deregulating their national markets and are also opening for regional market participation. Through the introduction of the MSB market rules, Namibia has partially opened its electricity market, this pioneering position makes the country a perfect model for lessons and replication in other SAPP member countries,” he explained.

Meanwhile, European Union Delegation Cooperation Federico Berna has announced plans to commit N$ 60 million to support the Government’s efforts in the area of sustainable energy.

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