Last week government bodies met at the Namibian Energy Policy Forum in Windhoek where the non-existent future of the gas-to-power Kudu project was brought to the forefront, the Namibian reported.

Speaking at the forum, Leake Hangala, former NamPower managing director, urged the audience that the project was not going to work and all the time and money spent was a waste, the Namibian reported.

 ‘It is a waste of time and money. Even those people who are spearheading the project know very well that the project is not viable’, Hangala said.

 This statement emerged due to the recent gas discoveries in Tanzania and Mozambique. Investors see commercial potential investing in these two regions and are willing to take a financial risk compared to investing a small scale project which may not foresee a profit, the Namibian reported.

Another issue is the stepping down of UK Tullow Oil who was in charge of all the operations of the plant and with no interest from the state utility their options were almost none, the Namibian reported.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy together with the Namibian Power Corporation (NamPower) are driving this project, even though the warning signs are clear.

Hangala said that the drivers of the project are not being transparent about their reasons for continuing to push the project despite it not being economically and financially viable, the Namibian reported.

 ‘It is time for those who are spearheading the project to report the reality of it to the leaders.

 They should explore other alternatives to generate electricity, and leave the Kudu gas project out’, he said.

Japanese company, Itochu and Tullow Oil owned a combined 46 percent share in the Kudu project as upstream partners which was initiated to generate more power for the country, the Namibian reported.

Government revealed last month that it would provide N$4.3 billion to cover the 44 percent share of the project held by the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor), the Namibian reported.

The completed project would supply power to the Zambian, Namibian and South African grids. The project would involve the development of a 800MW natural gas fired power station located in the south of Namibia near Oranjemund (old mining town), the Namibian reported.

Hangala said the government should not give all the risk to NamPower to carry but should include other parties and share the risk, the Namibian reported.

 ‘Government is putting a burden on NamPower, and now the company has a lot of projects amounting to billions. All these projects are still pending’, he said.

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Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl has been working in the African power, energy and water sectors since 2011, first with African Utility Week and now as the Editor of ESI Africa. She is also an Advisory Board member of the Global and African Power & Energy Elites publications. With her passion for sustainable business and placing African countries on the international stage, Nicolette takes a keen interest in current affairs and technology trends.

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