The electricity infrastructure upgrade being undertaken at Walvis Bay by the Erongo Regional Electricity Distributor, Erongo Red, to enable the town to accommodate major developments, such as the ongoing port expansion and new residential developments, is progressing well.
This is according to the chief executive officer of Erongo Red, Robert Kahimise, who says the massive upgrade which is being done in partnership by Erongo Red and NamPower is almost complete on the side of the electricity distributor.
“The Walvis Bay bulk upgrade is progressing very well. This is the single largest project with the most significant capital injection made and being undertaken by Erongo Red thus far. The project is about 95 percent complete,” he said on Friday.
According to Kahimise, Erongo Red is serious about investing in the region’s electricity infrastructure, especially in towns such as Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, while at the same time advancing rural electrification.
The ongoing electricity infrastructure upgrade in the region is necessitated by massive industrial developments, particularly in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
The upgrading of Walvis Bay cost about N$570 million, of which Erongo Red provided N$130 million and NamPower the balance. An additional N$70 million will be spent on upgrading and strengthening the internal electricity network.
“Erongo Red is the catalyst for the economic drive in the region, especially at Walvis Bay which is undergoing massive developments that will transform the town to a fully fledged industrial hub,” he said.
He noted that Erongo Red, while positioning itself to complement government’s efforts to accelerate rural electrification, is also readying itself to provide much needed support to major developments, such as the port expansion and mass housing project.
“Erongo Red has indeed become a source of reference and a model for many countries that aspire to set up a similar electricity distribution and supply model.
“We are also operating in an increasingly challenging environment. Amongst some of these challenges is aging infrastructure, fast growing local economies, demand outstripping supply and a gradual rise in electricity prices over recent years.
“Another challenge the electricity supply industry faces is the pressure to supply energy at an affordable rate, while the cost of generating and distributing electricity is rising steeply.
“We’re well aware of these challenges and we’re constantly engaging all our stakeholders and other role players to keep abreast of these challenges,” Kahimise said.