Scramble to develop power plant
The development of a 230 to 250MW long-term generation facility at the coast in the Erongo Region , moved a step closer when a compulsory bidders conference was held last week for the top six bidders at the Windhoek Country Club.
The race for the right to develop this facility to bridge the medium to long term power supply gap and ensure security of electricity supply in the country, saw the six short listed companies out of the initial 31 jet into Namibia to engage with NamPower at the compulsory bidders conference.
The six bidders are Aggreko International Projects (South Africa), Sinohydro Corporation (China), Arandis Power (Namibia), PPN Power Generation Company (India), Sum International Consulting (United Kingdom) and Xaris Energy (Namibia).
The bidders conference was initiated by NamPower to clearly set out the procurement process involved and also to respond to questions put forward by the six short listed bidders.
The development of a 250MW long-term generation facility at Walvis Bay in the Erongo Region is seen as part of a broader strategy to alleviate the country’s power woes and is being developed as a relief mechanism before the commissioning of the Kudu Power Project.
The proposed Erongo plant is expected to cost approximately N$3 billion and to be operational by mid-2016. The idea for its development came about after realising that the previously proposed emergency diesel generators would prove to be a burden on the national economy hence the option to divert the project to the development of a proper power facility.
On the funding part of the project, earlier in the year, NamPower’s Managing Director, Paulinus Shilamba said a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in which NamPower will hold 30% equity (N$300 million) will be created to develop the project tapping into the private sector. The Special Purpose Vehicle will also enable borrowing of funds from investors in the capital market.
The power plant which is being procured through a transparent bidding process will operate in base-load mode until 2017 and in mid-merit/peaking or stand-by mode after 2018.