Drought affects Nampower, generation plans on course

Energy Crisis Threatens the Western Power Grids23 November 2013, Windhoek – IN an update on the current situation in the country, NamPower Managing Director Paulinus Shilamba said on Tuesday that the current drought situation has left the company in a tight situation.

“It needs to be pointed out, however, that keeping the lights on in Namibia during the past few months has been especially challenging,” Shilamba said. The drought situation means supply from the biggest local source of electricity, the Ruacana Power Station has been reduced.

Shilamba said the water flow at Ruacana is currently in the region of 60 cubic meters per second, compared to the 70 cubic meters per second required to operate one machine and 280 cubic meters per second that will be required to operate the whole power station at full load. Generation capacity has also been been reduced due to the rehabilitation of several of its stations.

The Van Eck Power Station in Windhoek is being rehabilitated to extend its life span by 10 years. The first unit is expected to be commissioned by early 2014, with the last unit expected for commissioning by mid 2014.

“This will result in a much more reliable power station, meeting its original design output of 120MW and a guaranteed base load output of at least 90MW,” he said. The project will cost approximately N$300 million.

NamPower is replacing of turbine runners at Ruacana Power Station. The investment on this project is N$45 million. Shilamba said an additional 15 MW will be added to the power station, bringing the total installed capacity of Ruacana to 347 MW.

“The installation of the first runner is expected in April 2014, with the last runner to be commissioned by October 2014,” he said.

NamPower has concluded negotiations with CEC from Zambia for the joint development agreement regarding the Kudu Power Station, Shilamba said.

CEC has expressed interest to off take up to 300MW from the Kudu Power Station. In addition to the off take, CEC is also keen to take up minority equity shareholding in KuduPower.

Regarding the Baynes Hydro Power Project, he said the project was found to financially and technically viable.

– Namibian

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