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Power situation under control

With the Ruacana hydro-electric plant in the western corner of Northern Namibia being fully functional only for the first four months of the year, this week’s river flow readings show there is a significant drop in the flow, now chalked at 117.1 m3/sec. This is a cause for concern as it means Ruacana does not run on full capacity until the next rain season starts in central Angola.
The Economist spoke to NamPower about the situation and the utility said, “ Although Ruacana is one of the flagship power stations, Nampower has various power supply options which complement the power generated from Ruacana. So, Nampower has the power supply situation under control, but would encourage all consumers to continue to use electricity sparingly.”
Nampower said the river flow was at its highest in April resulting in all four generators being able to run at maximum output of 332MW. “Currently the power station is running at 42% of the installed capacity and yesterday 139MW was generated,” Nampower added.
The power utility company said only three of the four generators are functioning, however, they said it must be understood that due to the receding river flow, the water is kept back so that the generators can be utilized mainly during peak demand hours.

“Nampower continues through various initiatives to ensure security of supply, we would urge consumers to meet us half-way and do their part in using electricity sparingly, especially during winter when the demand is at its highest,” the power utility added.
Meanwhile, commenting on the power supply situation and on the replacement of turbine runners at Ruacana, Nampower said “with the investment of approximately N$55 million which includes the replacement of the turbine runners and major parts, as well as refurbishing of some turbine component, [it] has various contributing factors. The newly designed runners will improve the current turbine efficiency levels from 81% to 94% and increase the maximum output with 15MW from the current 322 MW to 347 MW. With improved efficiency more output will be realised at the Ruacana power station with less water.”
“The last runner is to be commissioned by February 2015. During the project period, Ruacana only has three units available for generation which means once a unit has been taken out of service all project works on that unit must be completed before the next unit is taken out again,” Nampower said.

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