Erongo RED warns of power shortages by 2013
The CEO of Erongo RED, Gerhard Coeln, has warned that Namibia could face a serious shortage in electricity supply as early as 2013 due to increased power demand from new mines that are being developed in the region.
Coeln made the startling remark at a recent workshop on electricity provision in the Erongo Region organised by the Namibian Manufacturers Association.
He said the new mines will add 200MW to the national demand in the short term and in view of that and the fact that the controversial Hwange Power agreement has not yet been extended beyond 2013, a serious shortage of electricity supply in Namibia could develop in 2013/2014.
In 2007 Nampower entered into a power purchase agreement with Zimbabwe power utility, ZESA in which Nampower injected US$40 million into the rehabilitation of the Hwange thermal power station and in return ZESA would provide 150 megawatts of power to NamPower for five years. But an outcry in both countries over the rationality of the agreement means the agreement is not likely to be renewed.
Erongo RED said it is in the process of implementing major bulk upgrades in the coastal towns to increase its electricity capacity to provide for recent and projected growth.
Swakopmund’s present capacity of 19.4 MVA will be upgraded to 30 MVA by mid 2012 and the capacity of Walvis Bay will be increased from 40 MVA to 80 MVA in 2014. Coeln said this will be supplemented with internal network strengthening and refurbishment to improve the electricity supply systems and to decrease the risk of blackouts.
In the meantime, the Erongo RED CEO has urged electricity users to save as much electricity as possible. He also urged the small independent power producers to sell their electricity to Erongo RED assuring them that they will receive the same rate as the average total rate paid by Erongo RED to NamPower of 76.5 c per kWh.