Hydropower generation
The successful completion of the turbine runners replacement project at the Ruacana Power Station has enabled NamPower to boost power generation capacity.

The Namibian power utility, NamPower’s power generation capacity has increased by 15MW from 332MW to 347MW at the Ruacana Power Station, due to three turbine runner units having been commissioned  last week.

NamPower, while celebrating its 20th anniversary in existence, also installed the turbine runner units following a period of two years since the project began, the New Era reported.

According to the media, the turbine runners replacement forms part of the 2012 short-term critical supply programme of short- and medium-term projects implemented to address the shortage of electricity until a base load power station is commissioned.

Ruacana Power Station – large source of power

It is reported that the Ruacana hydroelectric plant is the country’s largest electricity-generating facility, contributing nearly half of the country’s annual estimated 3.5 million watt-hours electricity consumption.

Permanent secretary in the ministry of mines and energy, Simeon Negumbo, said the additional capacity would contribute to the national development plans adding that it would meet the national policy goals, in ensuring the security of energy supply.

“The increased output from Ruacana Power Station has increased the peaking capability of NamPower’s generation, and in so doing, has taken NamPower another step forward in being able to supply Namibia from its own resources,” Negumbo said.

Also speaking at the event was managing director at NamPower, Kahenge Simson Haulofu, saying that the company will strategically address some of the challenges it is facing, which includes the reliance on imports of electricity. Namibia's electricity imports currently stands at an average of 60% yearly and up to 80% during the dry seasons.

National development plan

Media reported that Negumbo appealed to independent power producers to come on board and complement conventional power generation sources.

He said the fourth National Development Plan (NDP4), which will soon be replaced by NDP5, identifies energy as the vehicle for industrialisation.

According to the media, Negumbo linked NDP5 to the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), which aims for zero national load shedding during the HPP period from 2016/2017 to 2019/2020; an increase in local electricity generation capacity from 400MW to 600MW by the year 2020; provision of electricity to all schools and health facilities by 2020; and increasing the rural electrification rate from 34% in 2015 to 50% by 2020.

 

Featured image: Swede Energy