Walvis Bay, Namibia — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 07 November 2011 – President Pohamba of Namibia has appealed to the country’s electricity utility NamPower to do everything in its power to explore alternative sources of energy in an effort to counter the power shortfall in Namibia.
Officially launching generator number three at the new US$44 million Anixas power station, he said Namibia’s total power needs currently peaked at 393 megawatts (MW), and that the coming on stream of Anixas was a step in the right direction, as Namibia sought to cut down on electricity imports, mainly from South Africa.
The new plant will provide additional 22.5MW to the national grid in case of emergency and during peak demand.
Other main sources of electricity generation in Namibia are the Ruacana hydro electric power station (240MW), the Van Eck coal power plant in Windhoek (120MW) and the Walvis Bay Paratus diesel power station (18.5MW).
Namibia’s current electricity demand is estimated at 550MW. “The development of local electricity generation capacity should be viewed as an important priority,” said Pohamba.
He added that without sufficient electricity supply, the development of the economy would be delayed and the provision of public services such as health care, sanitation, education and potable water would be negatively affected.
Citing the New Era newspaper, allAfrica.com reports that growing economic activity in the Erongo Region, especially with the uranium boom and oil finds, could push national electricity demand by as much as 200MW during the next four years.
To ensure that the country is not caught off-guard, NamPower will, over the next five years, invest over US$1.75 billion in new power generation projects such as the Baines project that is being developed together with the Angolan government, the Orange River hydro project and the Arandis Erongo coal-fired power station.
Next year, a fourth hydroelectric generator will be installed at the Ruacana hydroelectric plant to provide another 90MW to the national grid by the second quarter of 2012.