31 August 2010 – NamPower, Namibia’s power utility, asked consultants to bid for the proposed development of the 100 MW run-of-river Lower Orange Hydro-electrical Power Scheme (LOHEPS).
The scheme would entail the development of up to nine small hydroelectric power stations, ranging from 6 MW to 12 MW, along the Lower Orange river, which had an estimated power generation potential of between 80 MW and 120 MW.
The power utility noted that LOHEPS would be used to divert the flow of the river through canals and tunnels into water turbines to produce electricity.
Between 66 km and 72 km of tunnels and 5 km of canals would have to be constructed, while about 300 km of access roads to reach the hydroelectric plants would also have to be built, as part of the proposed scheme.
Further, three additional substations closer to the new hydropower stations would have to be built.
NamPower has invited submissions from companies or joint ventures to provide consulting services for four work packages, the first of which would entail aerial surveying, geotechnical surveying and consultancy services for the tunnelling and canal works.
Further, the utility was also seeking consultancy services for the electrical works, mechanical works and civil and building works aspects of the project; as well as expertise with regard to financial and commercial model auditing; and expertise with regard to hydrological auditing.
Interested parties had until September 17 to submit their expressions of interest to NamPower.
NamPower is also expanding its Ruacana hydropower station.
Earlier this month, it reported that a fourth, 80 MW, turbine would be commissioned at the power station in March 2012. The first three units of the power station, producing 420 MW, had already been commissioned in 1978.
NamPower is investing billions in new power generation capacity and transmission networks, driven by surging demand.
The country’s national average demand for electricity is exceeding 320 MW, and increases to 450 MW during peak periods.