05 Sep 2013 11:30
KEETMANSHOOP, 05 SEP (NAMPA) - The establishment of the Kudu Gas to Power Project is expected to boost the local economy through employment creation and through the reduction of Namibias over-dependency on importing electricity.
Construction work on the project is expected to start at Oranjemund in December 2014 and end in December 2017.
It will see Namibia becoming an exporter of electricity, instead of importing power from South Africa as is the case at the moment. This will meet the current power demand and reduce the price of electricity in the country.
A presentation on the project given in Keetmanshoop on Thursday by Kudu project leader Gerson Rukata from the Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower) indicated that 1 500 jobs will be created during the construction phase, and over 70 permanent jobs thereafter.
The project will have a direct positive impact on the economies of Oranjemund and Lüderitz through employment creation, increasing the local authorities revenue, infrastructure expansion, housing and accommodation.
Other secondary industries to benefit from the project include cleaning services, catering, transportation, maintenance of vehicles, and tourism.
The project will have a gas field located 170 kilometres west of Oranjemund under the Atlantic Ocean at a water depth of 170 metres. The Kudu Power Station will be located 25 kilometres north-west of Oranjemund.
Rukata said 45 companies submitted bids for the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) pre-qualification tender in April this year, and 15 international companies were shortlisted.
The main EPC tender where 13 international companies are competing is expected to close on 18 October. The investors' pre-qualification tender closed on 09 August, while the Operations and Maintenance pre-qualification tender closes on Friday. The whole tendering process is expected to be completed by mid-2014, he explained.
During his presentation, Rukata urged the business people of the //Karas Region to grab available opportunities during the project's construction phase.
He noted that it was agreed that 15 per cent of the work will be done by Namibian companies.
Rukata said //Karas businesses must be prepared to deal with international investors and customers who will approach their businesses, especially with regards to tourism and accommodation.
He said Government is well updated with the progress of the project and has given assurance of its full commitment. In the meantime, NamPower will continue to engage the region and country to ensure proper distribution of information and available investment opportunities on this project.
The team started in Oranjemund and Lüderitz this week and will continue with the presentations in Mariental on Friday.
NamPower, the Namibian Government, National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor), Tullow Oil and ITOCHU Corporation from Japan, as well as other partners are working on the project.
More than N.dollars 24 billion is being invested in the Kudu Gas to Power Project.