The Ministry of Energy will improve domestic electricity production starting in 2024.
This will be achieved through the introduction of mini-grids, maintenance and construction of new power plants, which are to be located in selected areas around the country.
This was highlighted by the Minister of Energy, Nqosa Mahao this week during a media briefing. He said there were a number of undisclosed power generation projects on the pipeline that are expected to commence this year.
“We have a project that we believe will start this year. We also have an upcoming project which is estimated to produce 80 megawatts (MW) which is built of two projects where one will produce 50 MW while the other one will produce 30MW,”
“This will get us closer to the needs of the Lesotho Electricity Company’s (LEC) national grid network whereby Lesotho will depend on its own production,” Mahao said.
According to the Ministry of Energy’s information, Lesotho needs between 160MW and 200MW daily. This is Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC)’s daily need on its power grid network across the country.
Currently Lesotho produces about 102MW made up of 72MW from ‘Muela Hydropower Station, and 30MW from Ha-Ramarothole Solar Plant which was launched in 2023.
“We have a shortfall of 60MW which we buy from South Africa and Mozambique. It is estimated that in order for Lesotho to achieve 100 percent electrification, we need 300MW daily.”
He further indicated that the Ministry is aiming for self-sufficiency in power production.
“As soon as we are done with our own needs and we have produced enough electricity we can start selling so that we bring the revenue into the country. We want to sell electricity to our neighbour’s who have the biggest need for electricity.
“We have water and air which are the main resources needed for electricity production and we also have the sun as well as hydrogen.”
Mahao also revealed plans to disconnect Mokhotlong and Qacha’s Nek from the South African power grid.
Meanwhile, ‘Muela Hydropower Station is scheduled to undergo a six month maintenance work from October 2024 to March 2025, causing a complete shutdown of the station, which will result in a further shortage of 72MW which will call for importing more electricity from South Africa and Mozambique.
The maintenance work is expected to result in a fruitful future for the production of electricity in Lesotho.