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Kudu to go ahead despite Tullow exit

The contentious Kudu Gas project is advancing well despite strategic partner Tullow’s reluctance to participate in the project. This was the indication given by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Energy Kahijoro Kahuure. Kahuure sounded optimistic about the viability of the Kudu project in light of negative reports surrounding the project. Commenting on the matter, he said, “Government, the Namibia Petroleum Corporation, the Namibia Power Corporation and the Electricity Control Board of Namibia and key stakeholders have firm confidence in the viability of this project.

The project holds enormous benefits for the country.”Added Kahuure, “From an economic perspective, Namibia stands to benefit from corporate and individual taxes as well as upstream royalty revenues.” More worryingly are claims by the consumer group that the credit rating of NamPower and the country are under threat. Laughing at these allegations, Managing Director of NamPower, Paulinus Shilamba said, “NamPower has conducted a due diligence on the Copperbelt Energy Corporation. The African Development Bank is also in the process of conducting its own due diligence. The Ministry of Finance will ensure Namibia’s credit rating will not be jeopardised.” A local advocacy group of which former Chief Executive Officer of the Electricity Control Board Siseho Simasiku is a chair, the African Renaissance Consortium, claims that the Kudu Gas project is not a viable energy project. Simulations ran by the group have indicated that should Kudu get the go-ahead, electricity prices are set to spiral out of control, a situation that could led to the closure of various industrial projects in the country, most notably, Weatherly’s Tschudi and Swakop Uranium’s Husab. Simasiku made these revelations to the Economist in October. Local engineer, Peter Nutt who serves as a founding member of the advocacy group pointed out that the total gas, which stands at 1.3 trillion cubic feet out of a potential 9 trillion cubic feet was ground enough to cancel the project and pointed out that for generation purposes on a economically sound basis, at least 8 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves were needed.
Tullow’s exit and the advocacy group’s efforts to have the project grounded have all but failed given the progress made on advancing the Kudu to gas power project.
 Efforts to fill the gap left by Tullow have been accelerated. Equal to that, Copper Belt Corporation is set to take up the remaining 300 megawatts of surplus electricity generated from the project.

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