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Nam Found Comfort In Zambia Power Supply Arms


By: Nghiinomenwa-vali Erastus

Namibia has reduced its power imports from South Africa to below 10% from April to June.

This is according to the Namibia Statistics Agency’s monthly electricity reports for 2023.

Namibia has long relied on imported power from South Africa (Eskom), but South Africa’s own economy has put strains on its domestic electricity generation capability and thus its ability to export.

On a monthly basis, 60% to 70% of Namibia’s electricity needs are met by imports and historically that gap has been filled by South Africa through a supply agreement.

However, after experiencing generation issues for the past 2 years, and implementing load shedding to sustain its grid, that supplier has started being inconsistent, because, with every loading stage, the export to Namibia is reduced.

Namibia has a power purchase agreement with Eskom which expires in 2025.  However, NamPower has also diversified its sources of imported power over the short term by signing power purchase agreements with utilities in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Mozambique.

In March 2023, a total of 250,059  megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity was imported, and 50.5% of this imported electricity was mainly sourced from Zesco in Zambia, followed by Eskom Agenesis (18.4%) and Zimbabwe Power Company (15.0%).

As of April 2023, a total of 172,956 MWh of electricity was imported, and Zambia continues to replace South Africa.

For that particular month, Zesco supplied 71.2% of Namibia’s electricity needs.

Eskom Aggenesis then supplied 9.6% and ZPC added 8.7%.

A total of 146,833 MWh of electricity was imported during May 2023.

In May, electricity was mainly sourced from Zesco (80.8%), followed by Eskom Aggeneis (8.2%) and Eskom Orange River (7.6%) in second and third places, respectively.

As for June, the picture has even changed completely, as Zambia single-handedly supplied Namibia’s power gap for the month.

A total of 140,936 MWh of electricity was imported during June 2023 and 92.4% of this electricity was mainly sourced from Zesco, followed by Eskom Orange River (7.6%).

Namibia’s monthly generation is not consistent as it is dependent on seasonal changes, as the country’s main producer depends on the rainfall in southern Angola, which determines the flow of the Kunene river.

For 2023, the country has generated on average monthly 198,141 MWh, the highest being 266,144 MWh which was generated in May 2023.

In the six months, the country’s generation has reached 200,000 MWh three times, which reduced its import significantly.

Using generation and import figures, the country’s electricity needs including export has been around 372,908 MWh, on a monthly basis.

In terms of electricity import, the country has imported on a monthly average, 174,767 MWh for the six month months, the highest import was recorded in March, amounting to 250,059 MWh.

This was because the country generated little electricity for that month, amounting to 116,256 MWh, with the hydropower station producing only 71,880 MWh.

As for the independent power producers (IPPs), they have become a big player in the country’s energy needs.

For March the IPPs collectively generated 34,727 MWh (29.9%) of electricity while in April 2023 they generated 28,333 MWh (12.2%) of electricity.

For May, the IPPs slowed down a bit thus, collectively generating 25,566 MWh (9.6%) of the total local electricity.

As for June the IPPs collectively generated 23,284 MWh, accounting for 12.1% of local electricity generation.

To capitalise on the premium from importers, the county has not consumed all its power as it sold some of its electricity to neighbouring countries, with Botswana coming in as a consistent client.

In March, Namibia exported a total of 9,072 MWh of electricity of which 76.0% was supplied to STEM Sales-SAPP, followed by Botswana Power Corp (12.5%), while 6.8% was destined for South Africa Rietfontein.

As for April, the country increased its electricity excessively compared to March 2023.

Exporting a total of 46,496 MWh of electricity of which 95.6% was supplied to STEM Sales-SAPP, followed by Botswana Power Corp (2.2%), while 1.2% was destined to South Africa Rietfontein

For May 2023, Namibia exported a total of 38,042 MWh of electricity, of which 94.4% was supplied to STEM Sales-SAPP.

Botswana Power Corp took up 3.0% while 1.4% and 1.2% were destined for South Africa- Rietfontein and Angola, respectively.

In Namibia, exported power slowed down to 28,321 MWh of electricity of which 92.7% was supplied to STEM Sales- SAPP.

Botswana took up 3.9% of the exported power while 1.9% and 1.5% were destined for South Africa and Angola, respectively. Email:

Nghiinomenwa-vali Erastus

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