KATIMA MULILO – The Managing Director of Nampower, Paulinus Shilamba is convinced that all the country’s short- and medium-term power generation projects would be up and running by 2018, including the Kudu Gas Power Project, resulting in Namibia becoming a net exporter of electricity.
He said this during his presentation at the just concluded Association of Local Authorities in Namibia (ALAN) bi-annual congress that was held in Katima Mulilo last week. “Upgrades will be made on the existing power sources. The Kudu power project is a national project supported by government. We have to make sure that this plant is up and running by 2018. When it is in operation, government will get N$1 billion every year in royalties and taxes. We are going to become a net exporter of electricity, notwithstanding the countless jobs that are going to be created,” Shilamba told ALAN delegates. Despite the envisaged power projects, Shilamba says Namibia should brace itself for major power deficits in the next four years as some power purchasing agreements expire. “From now to 2014 we anticipate no problem. In 2015 the good news is that we have the Van Eck coming on. The bad news however is that, two of the agreements, the ZESA (Zimbabwe) and ESKOM (South Africa) are coming to an end. In 2016 we are not sure whether the private sector will come on board as they are still seeking protection. If they don’t, then we have a problem,” said Shilamba. Shilamba however said Nampower is devising ways to respond to any power shortages with new power purchase agreements. “However, Nampower is very busy. We are talking to ZESCO and ZESA to get more power. We have engaged other companies in Mozambique and Botswana as well. Talks are already at an advanced stage. If things should come to worse, we may put up generators,” he said.
“With power supply challenges prevalent in the entire region due to growing populations and economies, power consumers will continue to be at the receiving end with prices anticipated to increase,” Shilamba said. “Electricity prices will continue to go up until 2018. Prices will double in the next 3 years. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about it.
Whether we have the REDS or not prices will go up, but that will stop when Kudu comes on board,” he said. Shilamba, who appealed to local authorities to support Nampower’s energy efficiency measures, announced at the event that the power utility company will sell about 20 000 solar water heaters and distribute energy saving bulbs to reduce the burden on supply. “20 000 solar water heaters will be sold at discounted prices and we are going to distribute energy saving bulbs in efforts to conserve energy.
To ensure that our demand side initiative is successful during this distribution, we appeal to ALAN and its members that in whatever they do, they save 10 percent of electricity,” Shilamba further told ALAN delegates.
The Kudu Gas Power project would generate about 800MW and it involves a power station to be set up in the west of Namibia. Half the power generated from Kudu Gas (400MW) is expected to be consumed in Namibia with the excess exported to the regional market.
By George Sanzila