Geingob puts foot down on 250MW power plant
President Dr Hage Geingob has given the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) orders to identify one plant from the planned power projects (PPPs) which can be executed before the Kudu Gas power plant commences.
The Villager understands that the Minister of Mines and Energy, Obeth Kandjoze also had a meeting with national power utility NamPower last week Monday and Tuesday, where he allegedly ordered them to put their planned 250 mega-watt power plant on hold indefinitely.
Kandjoze told The Villager this week that his ministry had a meeting with President Geingob, whereby the latter gave the MME strict orders to take the lead and identify from the different PPPs projects which the country could undertake and complete construction before the Kudu Gas Project is completed.
He added that government acknowledges that the country will face power shortages before the Kudu Gas project comes into existence, thus the urgency to identify a mid-merit power plant which can be constructed and would operate as a base-load until Kudu had been completed.
“It was not a meeting with the Namibia power utility, but we had a meeting with the president, and he gave us the Ministry of Mines and Energy orders to lead the different power projects in the country. The MME is expected to come up with stop- gap measures and identify which projects could work before Kudu comes into place as there will be a shortage of power,” said Kandjoze.
The minister reaffirmed that Geingob gave his ministry an exercise to formulate and choose a project which is suitable for the country.
Even though the MME has come up and chosen a project, they are unable to divulge that information to the media or the public before the president had been briefed.
“I can, however, not release any information regarding what we have decided until we have informed the president. I first need to brief the president; these are the modalities we need to deal with,” said Kandjoze.
The matter is still in the process of being finalized, and until then, he maintained that he does not plan to reveal anything as yet.
“Many stakeholders such as the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development and the Attorney-General’s office are involved in these types of things, and we do not want to release any information. A lot of technicalities are involved, and until they are out of the way, no information can be said yet,” he said.
“We will not be revealing what decision the MME has come up with. I will lay down all the modalities, and that decision regarding which power project will be announced. Please, I do not want you to write this article until the president has been notified. If you go ahead and write this article, I will never speak to you again if you have another issue,” Kandjoze stressed.
When the Kudu Gas plant gets off the ground, it is expected to generate 800MW, which will supply far more than Namibia’s 500MW demand.
The excess power is expected to be sold off to South Africa’s Eskom (100MW) and Zambia’s Copperbelt company CEC Liquid Telecom (300MW), leaving Namibia with 400MW for its requirements, hence creating another 100MW deficit.
Meanwhile, The Villager could not get hold of Shilamba before the paper went to print.
In recent media reports, Kandjoze is said to have instructed the NamPower board to put their plans of awarding the N$4 billion 250MW gas power plant tender to Xaris Energy on hold.
Despite the minister having put the awarding of the tender on hold, former MME minister Isak Katali and Cabinet had approved the project, and NamPower planned to award the tender with that notion.
by Charmaine Ngatjiheue