30 Mar 2016 17:00pm
WINDHOEK, 30 MAR (NAMPA) The Ministry of Mines and Energy has allocated nearly N.dollars 99 million to improving the energy supply in Namibia.
While introducing his ministry's budget allocation of N.dollars 246.6 million in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Minister of Mines and Energy Obeth Kandjoze said there is an urgent need to respond decisively to the country's energy constraints in a manner that safeguards it from any forms of energy shortages.
If energy shortages are not addressed widely and on a far-reaching scale, they will stifle economic growth, development and will hold back the socio-economic upliftment of our people, Kandjoze noted.
He explained the Electricity Control Board (ECB) and NamPower have instituted measures to ensure the country has a secure electricity supply up to 2019 through various projects, in addition to the current installed generation capacity of 454 Megawatt (MW).
These include the Solar PV (photovoltaic) Power Supply Project near Omaruru; a 44 MW wind energy project; and a 120 MW Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO)/Diesel Short-Term Project.
The ministry has committed itself to vigorous deploying renewable energy technology in order to supplement our country's energy supply because Namibia has some of the best wind energy and irradiation potential in the world.
The minister said the country is currently importing 300 MW from Eskom in South Africa; 50 to 100 MW from electricity company, Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) of Mozambique; 40 MW from the Lusemfwa Hydro Power Plant of Zambia and 50 MW from the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).
These imports offer Namibia a total capacity of 490 MW available from the region at different times during the day.
The minister explained that in order to sufficiently meet the country's energy needs in the short to medium term, Namibia needs to develop an energy mix that takes advantage of all available forms of energy resources, be it coal, solar, wind, hydro, gas or even nuclear energy.
Last week Kandjoze issued a statement saying NamPower has secured enough energy for the coming winter and beyond, thus there is currently no risk of load shedding.
Namibias maximum demand expected for the coming winter is 630 MW. This is without the electricity demand of Skorpion Zinc mine, which gets its electricity directly from South African electricity public utility, Eskom.
Of the total units required for the year, 4 015.9 GigaWatt hours, NamPower will be sourcing about 40 per cent from internal power plants, namely the Ruacana hydro Power Station (installed capacity 347 MW); Van Eck coal Power Station (installed capacity 80 MW); Anixas diesel Power Station (installed capacity 22.3 MW); and Omburu solar Powerplant (4.5 MW).
The ministry identified five programmes to which its portion of the national budget will be allocated. These are:
Creation of knowledge of Namibias geological resources - N.dollars 53 940 000
Promotion of investment in exploration and mining - N.dollars 32 748 000
Protection of Namibias diamond industry - N.dollars 10 871 000
Energy and power supply N.dollars 98 876 000
Supply of refined petroleum products and security N.dollars 10 107 000
Supervision and support services N.dollars 10 237 000 and N.dollars 29 786 000