NamPower avails surplus energy to struggling neighbours
Power utility company, NamPower following part of an annual Surplus Sales Agreement which is in place with both Eskom and the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has resulted in NamPower being able to assist the two utilities with power in their time of need. According to a media release from NamPower, the capacity to assist Eskom and BPC was as a direct result of surplus energy being available at the time due to the flagship power generation plant, the Ruacana Hydropower Station, generating at full capacity (330 MW). This year, strong inflows (of up to 400 cubic metres/second) due to good rains in the catchment area of the Kunene River Basin made this possible.
This would not have been possible during the dry season (typically between mid-May and November each year). NamPower said that inflows have since decreased, which means that the generation capacity has decreased with the power station currently generating from 06h00 to 22h00 for domestic purposes only. According to NamPower, they were able to assist the two utilities due to surplus power being available. “It is important to note that as a participating Southern African Power utility, NamPower should act in solidarity with its neighbouring utilities just as they would, in the interests of economic development in the SADC region under the ambit of the SAPP energy trading platform,” the power utility said. “Namibia is fortunate that NamPower has consistently been able to meet the domestic electricity needs of all sectors of the economy without load shedding, at a cost that has continued to foster overall economic growth,” they added. NamPower said, during the next four to five years, no serious power supply disruptions are envisaged as NamPower has had the foresight to put adequate measures in place, through its short-term critical supply initiatives (1 -5 years), to mitigate potential shortages. These include the following initiatives of Demand Side Management (DSM), the Van Eck refurbishment, runners replacement at Ruacana Hydropower Station, negotiation of PPA’s with regional utilities and IPP’s and finally the development of a 250 MW power plant. According to NamPower, the envisaged 250MW power plant will be a joint development with the private sector. The plant will fill the supply gap prior to the commissioning of Kudu and thereafter, its operating regime has been designed to complement Kudu. Planned medium to longer-term projects include the development of the Kudu Gas Power Station and the Baynes HydroPower Plant. NamPower said they will continue to power the nation and if and when possible beyond the borders of Namibia. Adding that they will also continue to foster healthy and positive relations with their main shareholder, the Government and key stakeholders domestically, regionally and internationally.