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Senate Portfolio Committee Tour Energy Projects

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On the 26th February, 2020 the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy Portfolio Committee from the House of Senate toured energy projects in the southern part of the country. The Portfolio committee which was led by Senator Princess Ntfombiyenkhosi who is also Chairperson was hosted by the Hon. Minister for Natural Resources and Energy Senator Peter Bhembe, Ministerial Senior Officials which included the Principal Secretary Winnie Stewart, and Eswatini Electricity Company Executive Managers.

The Portfolio Committee started by visiting the Phuzumoya Strategic Oil Reserve Facility Site. At the site Minister Bhembe stated that plans for securing funding are at an advanced stage and if all goes well the project may commence anytime within the financial year 2020/21.


It is worth mentioning that the Phuzumoya Strategic Oil Reserve Facility is a government project aimed at improving fuel security of supply for the country through storing 30-day fuel stocks. This is mainly aimed at safe guarding the country against unplanned fuel supply disruptions that may hamper economic activity. Ground preparation for the project like fencing the project area, installation of electricity infrastructure, potable and raw water, rail line and tarred access road to the site are all in place.

the Portfolio Committee then proceeded to tour the Ncandweni Substation. Explaining about the project the Managing Director, Meshack Kunene said that the substation, currently under construction once completed will improve and strengthen the electricity output for Ncandweni and surrounding areas, which will see sugar cane farmers under the Lusip II Project benefitting. “This is a huge substation and we are hopeful that it will be completed before the end of this year,” said Kunene.

The Committee proceeded to visit a completed rural electrification project at Lunkuntfu. The project benefited 81 homesteads which were all electrified as well as the Lunkuntfu Community hall and a water pump. The total cost of the project to Government was nine hundred and fifty thousand Emalangeni (E950.000.00)

The tour ended by visiting a site at Qomintaba under Lavumisa where a 10MW Solar PV Project is currently under construction. The project cost IS around E240 million and construction work is proceeding well. The said project is expected to be completed by August this year. The MD stated that as a company they prioritized hiring of locals in all their projects, this was confirmed by the project manager of CONCO Energy Solutions Byron Sancho. “The company has hired about 40 locals and we anticipate hiring more as construction continues, “said Sancho. Making her remarks the Senator portfolio chairperson Princess Ntfombiyenkhosi said they appreciate as a portfolio committee responsible for the ministry to see such big projects under the energy sector which will take the country to a better level in terms of sustainable and energy access for all. “This will not only improve the economy of the country but will also improve the lives of Emaswati,” She said. The chairperson also noted the gender equality as she appreciated the hiring of female Engineers in most of the EEC projects.


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