10 May 2013 – Namibia’s government hopes to announce the winning bidders for the engineering and design of an 800 MW gas fired power station to be supplied by the Kudu gas field by March 2014. If it goes ahead the power station could be generating electricity in 2018.
There will be room for the private sector in the project as the country’s state owned electricity supply utility, Nampower, says it will sell 49% of the planned US$$1.1 billion Kudu power station.
Nampower has 100% shareholding in KuduPower (Pty) Limited, and is farming out 49% to prospective strategic equity partners. The government also wants to reduce its 54% interest in the Kudu gas field to 30%.
The Kudu gas field is located some 200 km off the southern Namibian town of Oranjemund, and it is expected investment of US$1 billion will be required for its development, in addition to that required for the power station.
However, parallel to its gas to electricity plans, Nampower has also been in discussion with the Nava Bharat Singapore Pte company that is developing the Maamba coal mine and power plant in Zambia over the potential construction of another 300 MW power station. This power station would be built on the Namibian side of the border it shares with Zambia, burning coal imported from Maamba.
It is understood, though, that Namibia cannot afford to build two baseload power stations, and Nampower is concentrating its efforts to finalise the Kudu feasibility study to be able to take an investment decision by the first quarter of 2014.
The government wants the first gas production from the offshore field by 2018. Exploration off Namibia, where 18 wells have been drilled, has so far focused on Kudu, still untapped since its discovery in 1997.