17 hours of darkness for northern towns

17 April 2020 | Energy

ILENI NANDJATO

OKATOPE



A broken crossarm on a power line left parts of the north without electricity for several hours this week.

The 66kV line between Okatope and Okapya was out of commission from Tuesday evening until Wednesday afternoon, a total of 17 hours.

The northern regions are still getting electricity through an old power transmission line, as the N$800 million Kunene substation is not yet connected to Omatando's 400kv line.

This is according to NamPower managing director Kahenge Haulofu.



Challenges

He said the power outage occurred as a result of a broken crossarm at around 18:58 on Tuesday and affected many areas in Oshikoto, Oshana and Ohangwena, including major towns like Ondangwa and Oniipa.

“Our technicians tried their level best to restore power, however, they were challenged by mahangu fields, oshanas and long grass that made it very difficult to proceed with line inspection at night,” Haulofu said. “NamPower tried to implement an alternative solution by supplying Ondangwa from the Efundja substation (Onghuno), which was implemented at 02:27.

“Unfortunately, the line tripped again at 03:23, affecting the town again.”

Technicians managed to restore supply to Ondangwa on Wednesday at 10:33 via the Efundja substation, while another technical team replaced the broken crossarm, he said.



N$800-million line

In 2016, NamPower embarked on an N$800 million project to build a 400kV power transmission line spanning 190km from the new Kunene substation to the existing Omatando substation.

This was in a bid to increase the power supply capacity to Oshakati, Ongwediva, Ondangwa and surrounding areas. The project was completed at the end of 2017, with the aim to create a direct transmission line from the Ruacana hydropower station to the northern regions. Despite the regions' proximity to the hydropower station, they currently get power through Omaruru and Tsumeb.

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