18 April 2008 – Namibia’s electricity control board (ECB) this week announced the highest ever tariff increase of 18.06% for the 2008/09 year. The new tariffs come into effect in July.

Simasiku

Siseho Simasiku, chief
executive of the ECB

Nampower have also secured tariff increases of 40% on generation and 20.1% on basic charges.

Earlier this year, the ECB surveyed the Namibian public on whether to introduce load shedding, or increase tariffs. 68.7% of the public were in favour of load shedding, with only 31.3% in favour of higher tariffs.

"We would like to warn that electricity prices in Namibia and the Southern African region in general will continue to rise over the next five years," Siseho Simasiku, CE of the ECB said.

When considering the tariff increase applications by Nampower, the ECB considered the prevailing power shortages within the SADC region, as well as the price of generating and importing power.

Namibian power stations, Van Eck and Paratus operate at very high costs due to rising coal and diesel prices. Imports from Eskom have been reduced and both the Ruacana and Van Eck power stations are running at full capacity in order to mitigate the current shortages.

The ECB says various projects in power generation and transmission need to be undertaken for Namibia to reduce its dependency on other countries.

"There is need to recover and provide for the costs of future network and generation expansions to alleviate possible future price shocks to consumers," stressed Simasiku.