400 kV Auas-Gerus transmission line construction progressing well – NamPower
Power utility, NamPower, on Monday reported on the progress of a line that will run from Auas substation near Dordabis to Gerus substation near Otjiwarongo, saying that construction is progressing well and is on course for completion, in mid-2023.
The power utility in a statement maintained that route clearance, which consists of de-bushing and clearing of 287 km of farmland, has been completed all the way, and construction of the tower foundations is nearing completion.
This comes as in 2021, NamPower announced the commencement of the construction of the 287 km long 400 kV Auas-Gerus transmission line.
“The construction of transmission towers is complete for 359 of the total of 566 towers on the line. At bends, self-supporting structures of 32m in height are used. In the straight section, guyed suspension towers are used, of which the height varies between 28.5m up to 43.5m,” said the power utility, adding that motorists travelling between Okahandja and Otjiwarongo would have noticed several structures that have been erected, particularly between the Okakarara turn-off to Otjiwarongo.
According to NamPower, these towers have been completed and fitted with the necessary equipment. The power utility also noted a challenge due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The manufacturing and delivery of the transmission towers and conductor material was a major challenge due to the effects of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the subsequent international lockdown, hyperinflation in commodity and oil markets, and overall material shortages and delays. This resulted in a 6-month delay to the project,” the company added.
However, the appointed contractor, Power Line Africa, has commenced with stringing – a process whereby the conductor responsible for the transmission of the electrical power – is fitted between the towers.
The company said it takes pride in the fact that the majority of the N$629 million project value is retained and reinvested within Namibia, with only materials that could not be locally sourced or imported. “The Namibian contractor, Power Line Africa, currently has an excess of 150 Namibians employed on the project.”
Moreover, the contractor also maintained an excellent safety record, with no major injuries reported to date, the company said.
Furthermore, NamPower owns a world-class transmission system and a network of 66 kV to 400 kV overhead lines, spanning a distance of more than 11 700 kms. The construction of the Auas-Gerus transmission is part of NamPower’s investment in expanding its 400 kV transmission infrastructure backbone, by more than 800 kilometers.
“The line is a testament to NamPower’s ambition to deliver sustainable security of supply and a least-cost tariff path that will support economic growth and maintain the company’s financial sustainability. Continuous investments are made to keep the national grid in a superior condition to ensure an efficient, reliable, and effective network with minimal disruptions.