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

 

500ppm diesel to go

1 month - 02 May 2018 | Energy

The ministry of energy has announced that diesel 500 ppm will be phased out by 1 January 2019, while a variant containing less sulphur -...

Kudu scaled down to 442 MW

1 month - 24 April 2018 | Energy

The Kudu gas-to-power project has been scaled down from an initial 800 megawatts (MW) to just 442 MW.This is to allow it to fit into...

Power fears grow

2 months ago - 23 March 2018 | Energy

Arandis Power managing director Ezio Vernetti has urged NamPower to re-engage with his company as the “reserve bidder”, following the unceremonious canning of the N$5...

Fuel facility 'too complex' for Namcor

3 months ago - 15 March 2018 | Energy

Mines and energy minister Tom Alweendo has confirmed that the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) and a strategic partner will jointly manage the country's...

Angolan rains save Ruacana

3 months ago - 15 March 2018 | Energy

The good rains received in the Lubango area of Angola over the past few weeks have rescued the power-generating activities at the Ruacana hydropower station...

Fuel storage scramble

3 months ago - 07 March 2018 | Energy

The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) is positive that it will be chosen to manage the strategic fuel-storage facility once it is completed, although...

Notable progress on SORED, says ECB

3 months ago - 01 March 2018 | Energy

Ogone Tlhage - The Electricity Control Board (ECB) is confident that a southern regional electricity distributor will be established within the current year. The establishment...

Namcor advertises lubricant tender

3 months ago - 22 February 2018 | Energy

The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) earlier this month called for international bids for a lucrative five-year tender for the supply and delivery of...

Govt hikes fuel tax by 60%

4 months ago - 05 February 2018 | Energy

Jo-Maré Duddy – Although the increase in fuel tax announced by the ministry of mines and energy won’t be much of a budget boost, it...

Mulunga returns to work, denies suspension

4 months ago - 23 January 2018 | Energy

OGONE TLHAGEDespite media reports that National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia managing director Immanuel Mulunga was suspended, or given ‘special leave’ as his board chairperson Patrick...

Latest News

Kingon re-appointed as SARS commissioner

13 hours ago | Economics

South African Revenue Service (SARS) acting commissioner Mark Kingon’s time at the helm has been extended by another three months, after minister of finance Nhlanhla...

Support for refugees

13 hours ago | Economics

NDAMA NAKASHOLEA total of N$13.2 million has been allocated in 2018/19 financial year to the administration of refugees programme under the home affairs ministry.The programme...

Totem

13 hours ago | Economics

Quote of the day“The Minerals Council believes that much more work needs to be done to create a Mining Charter that promotes competitiveness, investment, growth...

Court reins in spies

13 hours ago | Justice

The flimsy fig leaf of national security and secrecy, used by government, especially the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS), to withhold information in a constitutional...

Phosphate judgment on Thursday

13 hours ago | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has reserved judgment until Thursday on whether the granting of an environmental clearance certificate to Namibian Marine Phosphate (NMP) will be...

Public grills ECN contenders

13 hours ago | Government

OGONE TLHAGEThe Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has started interviewing candidates for the position of chief electoral officer.For the first time ever, the process, which...

Otjomuise shack fire claims two

13 hours ago | Crime

JANA-MARI SMITH A shack fire in Windhoek’s Otjomuise area killed two people over the weekend.The police reported that the two...

Katrina takes time into own...

13 hours ago | Education

The education ministry has issued a directive that schools may not start earlier than 07:30 or later than 08:30.This follows numerous directives issued by the...

Two in court after drug...

13 hours ago | Justice

Two men arrested in connection with a drug bust at the port of Walvis Bay on Friday made their first court appearance yesterday. Grant Noble...

Load More