transmission lines
Van Eck Power Station. Pic credit Namibian Sun
Recently refurbished Van Eck Power Station is contributing 120MW to support the national power grid in meeting peak demand. Pic credit: Namibian Sun

In Namibia peak demand for electricity has reached almost 600MW, more than was predicted in the planning and forecasting and is mainly due to the cold weather recently experienced.

Minister of mines and energy, Obeth Kandjoze told The Namibian on Wednesday that Namibia’s peak demand increased by at least 7% compared to the same time last year.

Exports from South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, to neighbouring countries, including Namibia, have been withdrawn during peak demand hours with only limited power being exported when available. This has added to Namibia’s challenge to meet the peak demand periods.

Kandjoze said the increased demand for electricity has therefore become unsustainable and has placed enormous strain on the power supply.

Ensuring security of supply

“This situation is not sustainable as an annual growth of approximately 4% is taken into consideration when forecasting and planning is done to ensure security of supply in the country”, explained Kandjoze.

The power shortfall remains, even though temporary power generation company Aggreko, along with Zimbabwe’s ZESA and Zambia’s ZESCO, continue to honour their Power Purchase Agreements to supply Nampower, said the minister.

Furthermore, the local generation capacity has recently increased with the Van Eck Power Station contributing 120MW to support the national power grid in meeting peak demand.

In further news: Algeria sees an increase in energy investments

Investments in the Algerian energy sector reached $3.6 billion in Q1 of 2015, an increase of 19% compared with the same period a year earlier, the Algerian Energy Ministry told APS this week.

The investments increased despite the drop in oil revenues as a result of the fall in oil prices.

To meet the national demand, which is in continuous growth, the sector imported 581,000 tonnes of refined products.

The sector also recorded an increase in the production of electricity to reach 16,000 Gwh during the same period, an increase of 8.5%.

The production of desalinated water, which is an energy intensive user sector, increased by 2%, to reach 96 million m3 in Q1 of 2015, against 94 million m3 during the same period of 2014.