Securing electricity for port development
“The Walvis Bay bulk electricity supply upgrade project has already started and once commissioned it will increase Namport’s dedicated supply capacity from 2.5 to 18 Megawatt”, Namport said in a statement.
Namport completed a comprehensive electrical master plan study for the Port of Walvis Bay in February 2010. The conclusion of the study was that a new electricity feeder must be installed from the Paratus substation to the port and that Erongo RED should upgrade its bulk power supply to the Paratus substation.
The forecast electricity requirement for the new container terminal is estimated at 15 megaWatt. Most of this power will be used by the new Ship to Shore quay cranes. It will thus not be possible to commission the new container terminal without this major power supply upgrade.
The contract that Namport signed with Erongo RED is valued at about N$30 million which is a network contribution of the total Walvis Bay bulk supply upgrade expected to cost Erongo RED N$311 million. The port electricity upgrade on its own is valued at N$85 million in total, including the N$30 million network contribution.
The last time that a significant electricity upgrade project was undertaken by Namport was when the Port of Walvis Bay’s internal electricity distribution network was upgraded in 2003, which enabled Namport to make maximum use of its 11kV supply from Erongo RED.
The need to upgrade the port’s electricity supply stems from the large increase in cargo volumes over the past 5 years and more so because of the forecast volumes for the next 5 years and beyond. Whereas for container throughput volumes only the Port of Walvis Bay will handle 320,000 TEU’s this year, it is expected that this figure will double over the next 5 years.
This upgrade project must be in place by 2015 when work on the new Walvis Bay container terminal on reclaimed land has reached a stage where the new ship to shore quay cranes are commissioned.