Major power crisis averted

NamPower MD sheds light on Ruacana shutdown

10 October 2016 | Energy

A nationwide power cut in April averted serious damage to the Ruacana hydropower station, NamPower MD Simson Haulofu says.

The Ruacana hydropower station was at risk of suffering substantial damage in April this year, which could have led a to a major power crisis nationwide.

On 18 April, the nation was plunged into a blackout and it has now emerged that the power trip was necessary action to avoid a turbine explosion at the Ruacana plant.

A decision was taken to pull the plug after NamPower technicians and engineers detected the error.

NamPower managing director Simson Haulofu told Namibian Sun at the weekend that technicians were assembling the refurbished turbine unit 2 when control officials detected a serious and dangerous fault.

“When the control room detected the hiccup they communicated to all relevant authorities involved and a consensus was reached to trip off the power nationwide to save the power station from exploding,” Haulofu said on the sidelines of the commissioning event of the refurbished power-generating units at Ruacana on Friday.

“We were lucky that stakeholders reached consensus in time, otherwise we would have been in a power crisis now.”

The three units'' refurbishment was done by Ruacana hydropower technicians and according to Haulofu the fault was not a human error, but just a technical problem.

“You are talking about assembling a large sophisticated tool which is computerised. The error was rectified on time despite that power had to come back only after two hours. It is not a system that you just go and switch it back. It has to go through a process of many different regulatory bodies locally and internationally,” Haulofu said.

In 2014 NamPower commenced their first-ever refurbishment works for the turbine units one, two and three which started operation in 1978 and were never serviced. They started with unit one in June 2014 and its operation was commissioned in December 2014, after five days of reliability testing.

In May 2015 they started with unit three whose operation was commissioned in September 2015.

Refurbishment for unit two started in November 2015 and operation commissioned in 24 July this year and while they were busy assembling it in April 2016 they experienced the first and only serious fault.







“This was huge commissioning in the history of Nampower, but we only experienced a single problem which was also rectified on time. In other countries, this could have erupted into a disaster,” he said. NamPower spent N$140 million from their savings for this project.



Haulofu said after refurbishment, each unit has increased power generation with five megawatts (MW) and water discharge efficiency has improved by 10%.



“These refurbishments have increased the station''s power generation capacity effectively by 15 MW, from 237 MW to 252 MW, while improving turbine efficiency allows the station to generate more electricity during low flow seasons. Other improvements include reduced cavitation, vortex flow and consequently vibration,” Haulofu explained.







''No load shedding''



Haulofu also told Namibian Sun that the whole of Southern Africa, including Namibia, was faced with power supply challenges as demand for electricity has exceeded supply. He was, however, hopeful that there would be no load shedding in the next ten years.



“We are now in the driest season and our power generation has decreased by 50%. Our production is mainly during the day while at night we let the dam to replenish and we are producing enough power,” he said.



ILENI NANDJATO

Similar News

 

SORED will be operational this year

1 week ago - 22 March 2017 | Energy

NAMPA The establishment of the Southern Electricity Distribution Company (SORED) is expected before the end of the year.The company will...

Petrol up by 32c a litre

4 weeks ago - 01 March 2017 | Energy

Fuel prices increased at midnight last night - by 32 cents a litre for 95-octane unleaded petrol and 25 cents a litre for all grades...

Net metering registration begins

4 weeks ago - 01 March 2017 | Energy

The City of Windhoek this week announced the start of the registration period for residents with photovoltaic (PV) installations, which will end on 30 May.The...

NamPower draws the line

1 month - 02 February 2017 | Energy

NamPower has given notice that it will cut the power supply to at least eight towns and villages, and a further 40 small settlements. ...

Okatope substation installation complete

2 months ago - 29 December 2016 | Energy

NamPower technicians installed the new Okatope substation on Saturday, according to its spokesperson Tangeni Kambangula.Said Kambangula: “the damaged transformer has since been replaced with a...

Green power brings money and jobs

3 months ago - 01 December 2016 | Energy

The Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) signed a letter of intent with the French Agency for Development (AFD) worth N$675 million over a three-year...

Arandis welcomes solar power plant

3 months ago - 28 November 2016 | Energy

Arandis Solar Energy announced its planned construction of a three-megawatt solar energy plant in the town last week. The plant will supply electricity to ErongoRED...

Wind farm becomes reality

4 months ago - 22 November 2016 | Energy

The notoriously windy town of Lüderitz will be home to the country''s first wind farm, which is scheduled for completion by the middle of next...

Green energy in spotlight

4 months ago - 10 November 2016 | Energy

Power utility NamPower has made significant progress with regard to the development of its biomass and concentrated solar power projects its managing director Simson Haulofu...

Major power crisis averted

5 months ago - 10 October 2016 | Energy

The Ruacana hydropower station was at risk of suffering substantial damage in April this year, which could have led a to a major power crisis...

Latest News

Poachers hit Indongo's farm again

9 hours ago | Crime

The number of rhinos killed by poachers this year has risen to five after two more carcasses were found on the farm Okanenampanti belonging to...

Rhino horns disguised as coffee

9 hours ago | Crime

A poaching syndicate operating in Namibia is apparently posting rhino horns to China in parcels purportedly containing coffee. Twelve pieces of rhino horn mailed from...

Job wants SSC contributions back

9 hours ago | Politics

Affirmative Repositioning (AR) activist Job Amupanda says he wants his monthly contributions to the Social Security Commission (SSC) back “until further notice”.In a letter to...

Struggle icons remember Kathrada

9 hours ago | People

Namibian struggle icon Andimba Toivo ya Toivo says the legacy of ANC veteran Ahmed Kathrada will live on for many years. Kathrada died in...

Airport tender in limbo

9 hours ago | Justice

A tender for the upgrading and expansion of Hosea Kutako International Airport is in limbo after the Supreme Court ruled that it had been granted...

Another Chinese nabbed in N$3.5bn...

9 hours ago | Crime

Another Chinese man was arrested by members of the Namibian Police's serious crime investigations unit in connection with alleged tax evasion, fraud and money laundering...

Double Valentine murder trial resumes

9 hours ago | Crime

The trial of double murder accused Mathias Kalunga Shindinge (45) who is charged with shooting his wife and her suspected lover to death in the...

Wildlife task force training starts

9 hours ago | Environment

Environment and tourism minister, Pohamba Shifeta said wildlife trafficking has become a multi-million dollar criminal enterprise whose threat has expanded to become more than just...

Who is to blame?

9 hours ago | Columns

Chilling figures of unsafe abortions announced by the health minister Dr Bernard Haufiku are a cause for grave concern and brings to the fore the...

Load More