Power Supply Critical During This Winter

23 May 2013 06:40

WINDHOEK, 22 MAY (NAMPA) - The power supply situation in Namibia will remain critical, particularly during this winter, until the commissioning of a base load power station in 2018.
This was the view of Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower) Managing Director Paulinus Shilamba during a media conference here on Tuesday.
He said the power utility?s largest supplier, Eskom of neighbouring South Africa, will be experiencing serious challenges in managing the power supply situation in their own country during the winter period.
?In the absence of guaranteed import from Eskom during this winter, it will indeed be challenging for NamPower to keep the lights on.
I would like to appeal to all our customers, small and large, to meet us halfway by reducing their electricity usage by the minimum of 10 per cent, especially during peak hours. The possibility of load-shedding can only be avoided if we all play our part in contributing to the solution,? he stressed.
Turning to the Van Eck Power Station, which has been out of operation since October 2012 due to rehabilitation work, Shilamba said a feasibility study was recently conducted on that project, and it offered several possible options.
NamPower chose the option to extend the lifespan of the coal-fired power station for10 years by replacing and refurbishing most of its major components, and to fully automate its functions.
?This will result in a much more reliable power station, meeting its original design output of 120 megawatts and a guaranteed base-load output of at least 90 megawatts,? Shilamba said.
The first unit is expected to be commissioned by the middle of this year, with the last unit to be commissioned at about the same time next year.
The project is expected to cost approximately N.dollars 300 million.
?NamPower will continue with the effective implementation of the Demand-Side Management (DSM) programme, which includes Demand Market Participation, Time-of-Use Tariffs and public awareness campaigns under the theme ?Power of Knowing?, which advocates energy-saving initiatives,? he stated.
Shilamba also announced that NamPower is currently in the process of investigating the application of more DSM measures, including the distribution of more compact fluorescent lights, solar water heaters, standby generators, energy audits and ripple control initiatives.
Some of these new initiatives will be implemented before the end of the current financial year.