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Nam to get power supply, despite Zim woes

Mon, 5 October 2015 20:58
by Charmaine Ngatjiheue
News Flash

Namibia will continue to receive an uninterrupted supply of 80MW per day from Zimbabwe, despite that country also facing incessant power shortages which have plunged it into instituting an 18-hour load- shedding schedule per day to conserve power.

Reports from Zimbabwe last week indicated that the Hwange power plant was not operating at full capacity, while that country’s hydropower plant at Kariba was also strained because of the unavailability of water.

The Namibian national power utility NamPower’s Manager of Corporate Communications and Marketing Tangeni Kambangula maintained that the agreement with Zimbabwe, particularly the Zimbabwean Power Company (ZPC), is based on a power-purchase agreement (PPA).

“As per the agreement, we are getting the 80MW, and this was done through a 10-year agreement. This PPA commenced in May this year,” Kambangula explained.

The power-purchase agreement with the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) saw a renewed agreement between NamPower and ZPC, which allows for the provision of 80MW of power to Namibia. ZPC is a subsidiary of ZESA Holdings, and this renewed agreement came at a time when the initial agreement between ZESA Holdings and NamPower expired earlier this year.

The first agreement was signed in 2006, stating that the two power utilities would rehabilitate the Hwange power station in Zimbabwe. For this to be made possible, NamPower procured US$40m (N$553 670 000 at present value) in funds and in return, ZESA Holdings would provide 150MW of power to Namibia for eight years.

In addition to rehabilitating the Hwange power station, the new agreement will also assist ZPC to raise funds to extend the Kariba South hydro-power station by at least 300MW as the power station’s current capacity is 700MW.

As the whole Southern African Development Community (SADC) is facing an energy capacity shortfall of 8247 MW, the region embarked on measures to curb the electricity shortfall. The power supply agreement between Namibia and Zimbabwe is part of the bilateral agreements between the two countries.

Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said power is a serious issue in Namibia and the SADC region as a whole, especially if Zimbabwe is facing the current energy crisis it is facing. She stressed that the Zimbabwean crisis means Namibia needs to move fast in terms of ensuring that the power situation in the country does not escalate.

“This situation means that Namibia needs to urgently find alternatives to the power crisis. Energy is a very serious problem, and not only for Namibia, but for the whole region because we are dependent on it. We need to move fast in terms of solving this crisis, and not only Namibia, but the whole region,” Nandi-Ndaitwah stated.

In 2014, a generation capacity amounting to 1999MW was commissioned by the central member states from rehabilitation, with Angola generating 150MW, South Africa 1654 MW, Mozambique 150 and Zambia 245 MW.

Approximately 83% of that installed capacity has been generated from renewable energy-based resources (solar, wind and hydropower, especially through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme [REIPPPP] in South Africa).

Namibia is projected to face a supply deficit by 2016 when key contracts with neighbouring suppliers expire. In addition, the Region plans to commission 2763 MW in 2015, predominantly from the Democratic Republic of Congo with 430 MW, Mozambique with 205 MW, South Africa with 1828 MW, Tanzania with 150 MW, Zambia with 135 MW and Zimbabwe with 15 MW. In order to address the generation deficit in the region by 2019, the region plans to connect an additional 24 062 MW of new generation capacity, of which 70% is expected from renewable energy sources (hydro, wind and solar).