Canadian mission on its way to South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - The government of Canada announced that it was sending an electricity capabilities mission to Johannesburg. South Africa is CanadaÂ’s strongest commercial partner in Africa, and two-way trade reached an estimated 15-billion in 2007.

High commissioner for Canada to South Africa, Ruth Archibald, said that the prospects for expanded cooperation in the energy sector were excellent. “The Canadian electrical energy industry is highly developed, being both massive in the scale and highly diversified in its capabilities. We have much to offer each other.”

In 2007, Canada generated 107,209 MW of electricity, drawn from about 60% hydro, 20% from hydrocarbons, and 15% from nuclear energy sources. About 3% of CanadaÂ’s current electricity needs were generated by new and renewable technologies, including wind, tidal, and biomass energy.

It was a priority of the Canadian government to develop new and nonconventional sources.

The Canadian industry was also venturous and export-oriented. Canada had a long history of exporting electricity to the U.S., and exporting its capacities and technologies to markets farther afield. Several Canadian energy companies were already established in the broader African continental electricity market and were keen to use the opportunity of this mission to expand their presence in South Africa.

“Canadian companies have proven expertise in the generation, distribution, and transmission of energy and it is my hope that they will be able to develop strategic partnerships with South African companies, and use their expertise to assist South Africa in its efforts to meet the increase in the electricity demand,” said Archibald.


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