Electricity Sector

Swaziland's electricity is mainly supplied by the Swaziland Electricity Company ("SEC") established in terms of section 3 of the Swaziland Electricity Company Act, 2007 (Act No. 1 of 2007) ("SEC Act"). SEC is the successor to the Swaziland Electricity Board ("SEB") which was established in terms of the Electricity Act, 1963 (Act No. 10 of 1963). The Electricity Act, 2007 (Act No. 3 of 2007) repealed the Electricity Act, 1963. In terms of the SEC Act, SEC is supposed to operate under a licence issued by the Swaziland Energy Regulatory Authority ("SERA") established in terms of the Energy Regulatory Act, 2007 (Act No. 2 of 2007) ("ER Act").

The electricity sector is dominated by SEC undertaking power generation, importation, transmission, distribution and supply. Other key players include co-generators from the sugar industry namely Ubombo Sugar limited (USL) and the Royal Swaziland Sugar Corporation (RSSC) which use bagasse and wood chips as fuel. USL has an installed capacity of 41.5 MW which is utilised for self-sufficiency and export to SEC. RSSC’s 65.5 MW generation is currently limited to self-consumption. The electricity industry structure and its envisaged transition is as shown below;

KEY STATISTICS

Electricity demand 221MW 2014

Installed Capacity

SEC  
     Hydro - 60.4 MW
     Diesel – 9 MW

USL
      Thermal – 40.5 MW
      Hydro – 1 MW

RSSC
     Thermal – 65.5 MW
     Energy profile 2013/14
     Energy Sent out – 1554.6 GWh
     Local generation – 578 GWh
     Imports – 976.6 GWh
     Maximum demand – 221.2 MW

Electricity Access – 65%
     Urban – 84%
     Rural – 55%

Power is transmitted through 66kV, 132 kV and 400 kV transmission lines. The 400kV transmission line are owned by the Motraco Transmission Company. SEC has one third interest in the Motraco Transmission Company, registered in Mozambique. Motraco's principal role is the supply of energy to Mozal Aluminium Smelters in Mozambique and the wheeling of electric energy to the Electricidade de Mozambique, Swaziland Electricity Company and Eskom, South Africa.

Swaziland electrification rate of 65% (84% urban, 55% rural)

The electricity supply industry in Swaziland has undergone changes both from a policy and regulatory point of view. Issues such as the changing global trends towards liberalised energy markets; security of supply; achieving efficiencies; affordability; and access to electricity, amongst others, have introduced a change in the policy trajectory with regards to how Swaziland as a nation views electricity supply.

Overall, the electricity supply industry in Swaziland can be broadly defined as an industry in transition, informed both by policy imperatives and regulatory reform.