Planned power plant not competing with Kudu: Katali

21 May 2014 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 21 MAY (NAMPA) – The planned 250 Megawatt (MW) long-term generation facility near Walvis Bay will not compete with the Kudu Gas Power Plant, but rather complement it by serving during peak times in dry seasons.
The N.dollars 3 billion facility is set to become operational by the year 2016. It will operate in base-load mode until 2017 and in mid-merit, peaking, or stand-by mode, after the year 2018.
Speaking during the launch of the Namibia Energy Institute (NEI) in Windhoek on Tuesday, Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Willem Isaak gave his assurance that the Kudu Gas Power Plant will not become redundant if the long-term generation facility becomes operational.
He was speaking on behalf of Mines and Energy Minister Isak Katali.
“Instead, after 2018, this power station will complement Kudu by serving especially during dry seasons, and by operating when one or both of the Kudu 450MW blocks are out of service for planned or unplanned maintenance. It will thus enable us to continue serving our customers even if one block from Kudu is not available,” he stressed.
The Kudu base-load power station will be operational from the year 2018 onwards, and Namibia will then become a net exporter of electricity. Isaak noted that the good news is that during this period, Namibia will also experience power tariff stability, and electricity prices will increase at a much lower rate than it does currently.
The power supply situation in Namibia will remain stable until 2015, after which deficits may be experienced. Efforts to minimise the effects of such deficits are being made and NamPower will implement programmes as part of its short-term critical supply (STCS) project.
One of the programmes is the Demand Side Management (DSM) campaign, which includes the import and free installation of one million light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs in residential houses throughout the country and the installation of 20 000 solar water heaters in residential houses through a rebate initiative. Also in the pipeline are negotiations with large customers for access to their standby generators to support electricity demand during peak and emergency periods. This programme is expected to cost about N.dollars 350 million and to yield a combined saving of approximately 110MW over a period of five years.
Another programme is the refurbishment of the Van Eck Power Station outside the capital at a cost of N.dollars 330 million. By the year 2014, two units will be refurbished and the power station will be able to meet its original design output of 120MW and a guaranteed base-load output of at least 90MW.
The newly designed runner replacement at Ruacana is another programme that will improve the current turbine efficiency levels from 81 to 94 per cent and increase the maximum output by 15MW - from the current 322MW to 337MW.
Meanwhile, government is also committed to including nuclear power as part of its energy mix for the future, according to Katali.
“Government is also committed to include nuclear power as part of its energy mix for the future and shall continue to promote nuclear energy as an important electricity supply option including the development of applicable legislation and regulations. Nonetheless, I would like to emphasise that nuclear waste of foreign origin shall not be accepted for deposition on the Namibian territory,” he added.