NamPower PPAs with neighbours to expire, negotiations difficult

15 Apr 2014 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 15 APR (NAMPA) – Namibia’s Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with its neigbouring countries will expire in the next 15 months, which will leave the country in a critical shortage of the electricity supply.
NamPower's Managing Director Paulinus Shilamba announced this here on Tuesday during a media briefing.
He said the expiry of the current PPAs with the neighbouring power utilities, with a combined capacity of up to 750 megawatts (MW) in the next 15 months, is a serious challenge to Namibia.
These PPAs include the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) agreement in October 2014, the supplementary Eskom agreement in April 2015, the Aggreko (Mozambique) Agreement in August 2015 and Eskom Off-peak agreement in April 2016.
Shilamba said re-negotiations of these agreements have proved to be challenging.
Namibia depends mainly on the Ruacana Hydropower Plant for most of the country’s energy needs.
At the moment, Namibia imports electricity from South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, but these countries are also faced with a crisis of meeting the energy demands of their own.
“Again, this highlights how vulnerable the current demand/supply balance is within the southern African region,” emphasised Shilamba.
He indicated that re-negotiation of PPAs has started but it has proven difficult.
Shilamba said Namibia will have to find a way to manage the situation alone if this matter remains unresolved.
“Despite all these and many other challenges, we want to assure our stakeholders that we shall continue to work day and night to ensure that we continue to deliver on our national mandate of powering the nation at all times,” he said.
He appealed to all customers to meet NamPower halfway by reducing their electricity usage by a minimum of 10 per cent, especially during peak hours.
“The possibility of load shedding can only be avoided if we all work together as a country, with each player, including customers, playing their part in contributing to the solution,” he stated.