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SADC Today Volume 8 No. 4, October 2005
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Power utilities sign WESTCOR shareholders agreement

A SHAREHOLDERS agre ement has been signed by the power utilities from five SADC countries aimed at operationalising the Western Power Corridor project and management arrangements.

The agreement signed on 7 September is a milestone in the creation of a joint venture company, Western Power Corridor (WESTCOR).

The establishment of the joint venture company follows the signing of an Inter-governmental Memorandum of Understanding and the Inter-utility Memorandum of Understanding in October 2004.

WESTCOR is a regional pro ject conceived through the combined initiative of the SADC secretariat and the power utilities of Angola, Botswana, DRC, Namibia and South Africa.

The project is intended to exploit the environmentally friendly, renewable, hydroelectric energy of the Inga rapids site in the DRC and will add about 3,500 megawatts of power to the SADC region.

The project will also develop the associated telecommunications and transmission infrastructure in the western part of SADC at an estimated cost of US$7 billion. The funding is to be sourced through the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and international cooperating partners.

The WESTCOR project is expected to create jobs and opportunities for the people of southern Africa. It will have a project office in Gaborone.

The shareholders' agreement comes at a time when the Southern Africa Power Pool is stepping up efforts to avert the anticipated diminishing energ y generation capacity in the region by the year 2007. 

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