CORRECTION:Shilamba disputes future power crisis in Namibia

15 May 2014 16:50pm
RUACANA, 15 MAY (NAMPA) – “There is no crisis in this country, what we have is a challenge,” NamPower Managing Director Paulinus Shilamba said on Wednesday.
Speaking during a media tour to the Ruacana Hydro-electric Power Station in the Kunene Region on Wednesday, he said although there will be electricity deficits in the near-future, NamPower has put measures in place to address those challenges.
His comments follow local media reports that the country might not meet its electricity demands in the coming years.
“I’m very confident that Namibia will be in a position to overcome these challenges with the assistance and cooperation of all stakeholders, including customers, during this difficult time,” Shilamba stated.
With the cost of electricity supply and imports continuing to grow each and every year due to inflation, the country’s population is expected to pay proportionally-escalating costs between now and 2018.
On Monday, the Electricity Control Board (ECB) announced that electricity tariffs will continue to increase above inflation at least until the 2019/20 financial year to ensure new investments in generation capacity.
The ECB also recently awarded NamPower approval to increase the bulk electricity tariffs by 13.22 per cent - from N.dollars 1.03 to N.dollars 1.17 per kilowatt-hour (kwh) for the financial year 2014/15, effective 01 July this year.
The Ruacana Hydro-electric power plant is the biggest power-generation plant in the country with a capacity of 330 Megawatts (MW), compared to the 120MW of the Van Eck Power Station outside the capital, and the 24MW (downgraded to 12 MW due to age) and 22.5MW of the ANIXAS diesel-powered station at Walvis Bay.
“By 2018, we expect the Kudu Gas Power Station to be operational, after which the price of electricity will start to stabilise,” Shilamba added.
The Kudu Gas Power Station will be located 25 kilometres north of Oranjemund in the //Karas Region.
It will be the first Combined Cycle Gas Turbine power station of its size in southern Africa.