Power supply to remain critical until Kudu is up and running

26 Nov 2013 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 26 NOV (NAMPA) - The power supply situation in Namibia will remain critical until the commissioning of a base load power station in 2018, NamPower Managing Director Paulinus Shilamba said on Tuesday.
The much-anticipated base-load power station, the Kudu Gas-to-Power project, is only expected to be up and running by 2018, potentially making Namibia a net exporter, rather than an importer, of electricity.
Speaking at a media briefing here on Tuesday, Shilamba said the situation is critical particularly because one of the national power utility’s suppliers, South Africa’s Eskom is set to experience serious challenges in managing the power supply situation in that country.
“In the absence of a guaranteed import from Eskom it will indeed be challenging for NamPower to keep the lights on,” he cautioned.
Namibia imports about 60 to 80 per cent of its power from Eskom.
The South African power utility last week declared an emergency due to the loss of additional generating units from their power stations and the extensive use of emergency reserves.
Eskom has since lifted the emergency, but said it would remain on high alert. The emergency was declared last Tuesday and lifted on Thursday night after Eskom said the system was stable.
It said the risk of another emergency declaration remained as the system continued to be constrained.
Shilamba appealed to all NamPower customers to meet the company halfway by reducing their electricity usage by a minimum of 10 per cent, especially during peak hours.
Peak hours are from 06h00 to 09h00 in the morning and 18h00 to 21h00 in the evenings.
“The possibility of load shedding can only be avoided if we all work together as a country, with each player, including customers, playing their part in contributing to the solution,” he said.