Billions for new power lines

NamPower has a host of projects over the next four years to secure power supply to Namibia.

29 August 2019 | Infrastructure

As part of its new strategic plan, NamPower is expected to spend upward of N$1 billion on the construction of three new heavy-current power lines and several renewable-energy power stations.

The announcement was made at the launch of NamPower's strategic plan, which concludes in 2023.

Among the first projects is the construction of a 400-kilovolt (kV) line between the Auas and Gerus substations, NamPower MD Simson Haulofu said.

“The Auas–Gerus 400 kV line bid is with the Central Procurement Board (CPB), waiting to be issued.

“It must be understood that the 400 kV line forms part of the total project, which includes transmission substation extensions at both Gerus and Auas,” said Haulofu.

The cost of the Auas–Gerus project is estimated at N$900 million.

Haulofu explained that the project would provide security of power supply to the northern and north-eastern regions and reduce network losses on the overloaded 220 kV system.

It would also provide capacity for a wheeling path to Zambia via a high-voltage direct-current interconnector.

Tenders would be advertised in due course, Haulofu said.

This project will be followed by planned linkages between NamPower's Obib substation near Rosh Pinah in the south and Eskom's Oranjemond facility in South Africa.

“Once the first bid has been advertised, NamPower will align the other two bid contents accordingly. The next bid to be advertised will be the Obib–Oranjemond line. The third line, Auas–Kokerboom, will be issued at a later stage,” said Haulofu. According to him the total cost of the other two projects is over N$2.5 billion.

The 400 kV line between Obib and Oranjemond in South Africa would provide security of supply and network stability to the Eskom network. It would also reduce reliance upon Eskom's Aries substation while providing a network for the wheeling of energy between the two countries.

The Auas–Kokerboom 400 kV line, on the other hand, would provide security of supply, network stability and sufficient capacity during peak times. The line would also allow for maintenance and refurbishment opportunities on the existing line and associated equipment connected to the line.

NamPower is also waiting for a tender to be issued for the construction of the Omburu Photovoltaic (PV) power station.

“The NamPower 20 MW Omburu PV bid is with the CPB, waiting to be issued. The 20-megawatt (MW) Independent Power Producer (IPP) Photovoltaic (PV) bid will be issued soon,” Haulofu said.

NamPower is also expected to add a biomass and wind power station over the next four years.

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