NamPower explains situation

November 25, 2013, 10:06am

This Tuesday, NamPower will announce the major efforts it has undertaken to save the looming power crisis.
This, as the power utility warns the system of one of its regional suppliers and transmission partners, Eskom, is currently under severe constraints due to the loss of additional generating units from its power stations and the extensive use of emergency reserves; a situation that has prompted Eskom to declare a state of emergency.

Despite local and regional power supply challenges, NamPower has continued to provide uninterruptable electricity supply to the nation. The situation Eskom is currently facing does, however, impact on guaranteed supply in terms of direct imports from Eskom.
NamPower manager marketing and corporate communication, Tangeni Kambangula said the situation in South Africa is now very serious and “NamPower has put mitigating measures in place to enable us to manage the power supply situation locally. We, however, rely on the 10% reduction on average consumption from our customers and the nation at large.”

Added Kambangula, NamPower is currently importing 110MW from South Africa but strictly from 06:00 in the morning up to 17:00 in the evening. The average hourly Eskom import during these hours is approximately 110MW. The period with the highest risk for Namibia is from 17:00 to 21:00. Therefore, during these hours, the import from Eskom is zero megawatts; to minimise the risk to NamPower.

NamPower is currently supplying the country through its local generation sources, in addition to imports.

“It is important to state the prevailing drought situation has had a severe impact on the water flow of the Kunene River, resulting in the reduced output of the Ruacana Hydro Power Station, our main generation source. Given this situation, we wish to remind our customers and the nation at large that the electricity supply situation remains critical,” said power utility spokesperson, Monica Nashandi, last week.

According to Nashandi, while NamPower continues to do everything in its power to ensure security of supply, “we appeal to all our customers and the nation at large to continue implementing electricity saving measures such as switching off air-conditioners, geysers and swimming pool pumps and all other non-essential appliances during peak times – which is 8-10am and 6-9pm - to reduce the demand. We rely on your cooperation and support and we pledge to keep you informed about developments regarding the situation.”

NamPower’s target is 10% savings on average consumption (Namibia’s average consumption is 350MW and the total maximum consumption is 520MW). Namibia’s import portfolio excluding Eskom and local generation is as follows: Zimbabwe = 150MW; Zambia = 50MW; Mozambique (Aggreko) = 115MW.