Namibia: Eskom warns of possible blackouts

eskom21 November 2013, Windhoek – Eskom has warned that its power system was severely constrained due to the loss of additional generating units from its power stations and the extensive use of emergency reserves but it was not immediately clear if the announcement would have any negative effects on Namibia.

NamPower MD Paulinus Shilamba declined to comment on the issue because he said he was on leave while Tangeni Kambangula, the spokesperson of the company did not respond to a request sent to her to comment on the situation.

“The power system is severely constrained today (Tuesday) due to the loss of additional generating units from our power station fleet and the extensive use of emergency reserves. This has necessitated the need for Eskom to declare an emergency in terms of the approved regulatory protocols,” Eskom said in a statement posted on its website.

Eskom said it was following the protocol in terms of its emergency procedures in order to secure the power system.

“We have alerted our key industrial customers and have required them to reduce their load by a minimum of 10%. While we will make every effort to avoid load shedding, we are hopeful that by applying these measures we will achieve the required load reduction necessary to protect the national grid, Eskom said.

The company called on its customers in South Africa to switch off geysers, pool pumps, air conditioning and all non essential appliances from 5pm to 9pm.

“Load shedding schedules will only be utilised for the duration of the constraint and Eskom will provide regular updates on the status of the power system,” said Eskom.

NamPower imports between 50% and 70% of the country’s energy requirements from the Southern African region. The main local source of generation is Ruacana Hydro Power station.

NamPower imports energy from Eskom in South Africa, Electricidade de Mozambique (EDM), Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa), Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (Zesco) and the Societe nationale d’ electricite (SNEL) of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

NamPower plans putting up several power-generation plants but most of these will start generating only after 2017 due to several delays.

The government has decided to go ahead with the development of the Baynes Hydro Power station, set to cost at least N$13 billion and the Kudu Gas project, estimated to cost at least N$13,8 billion.

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