By Eveline de Klerk
WALVIS BAY – The coastal town of Walvis Bay faces the risk of load-shedding if its consumption of electricity continues to rise.
This was revealed by the Chief Executive Officer of Erongo Red, Robert Kahimise, during a stakeholders’ meeting held at the town last week.
But Kahimise said this would be the last option and urged residents and businesses to minimise their electricity usage in the meantime.
However, he said the situation was under control.
According to Kahimise, the high demand for electricity at the town is only experienced during June to August due to the cold winter.
“Currently we have on standby the load-shedding programme for residential areas, where we might switch off the power for at least 30 seconds and switch it back on just to allow the power to return to the normal rate,” he said.
According to him the demand for electricity at Walvis Bay was 47 kW in June while at Swakopmund it was measured at 27 kW.
“Walvis Bay can only support a peak load of between 30 and 47 kW, but should not reach 60 kW, while Swakopmund can handle a peak demand below 30 kW.
“I therefore urge our customers, especially the business communities, to assist us to keep the demand for Walvis Bay below 47kW as we need to manage this collectively, “ Kahimise explained.
According to Kahimise Erongo Red has load-shedding programmes ready until the bulk electricity supply infrastructure at the coast is completed in 2016.
“We are mindful of the importance of electricity to the economy of Erongo. For this reason we have invested heavily in upgrading the electrical infrastructure to boost and energize investments in the region,” he said.
According to Kahimise, Erongo Red has already completed the Henties Bay upgrade while work for Walvis Bay is currently in progress
“The upgrading of Walvis Bay will cost N$500 million of which Erongo Red will cover N$130 million and the balance by NamPower. Additionally N$70 million will be spent on upgrading and strengthening our internal electricity network,” he explained.
He said that due to Swakopmud’s high peak demand for electricity, there was a need to upgrade the bulk electricity supply in Swakopmund as well. “We have already started with planning for this upgrade. Similar bulk upgrade projects are also earmarked for Arandis and other towns in the near future,” Kahimise said.