The Ministry of Mines and Energy and NamPower have with great concern observed that media houses issued reports on an anticipated energy crunch to be faced by the country (articles in The Namibian “NamPower expects enormous strain on system from August” and the Namibian Sun “Expect electricity crunch by August”) as indicated in the NamPower 2014/2015 Annual Report. Although the information relating to the 2014/2015 Annual Report was factual then, the supply situation has changed considerably since the reporting period.
The lack of verification of information by media houses is not only irresponsible but also misleading to the nation, as unnecessary alarm has been created as to the power supply situation in Namibia going forward. The Ministry of Mines and Energy and NamPower would like to give an update on the power supply outlook for the next winter and beyond.
NamPower has secured enough energy for the coming winter and beyond and there is currently no risk of load shedding. The Namibian maximum demand expected for the coming winter is 630MW (without Skorpion Zinc mine).
Of the total units required for the year (4 015.9 GigaWatt hours), NamPower will be sourcing about 40% from internal power plants, namely Ruacana hydro power plant (installed capacity 347 MW), Van Eck coal power station (installed capacity 80 MW), Anixas diesel power station (installed capacity 22.3 MW) and Omburu solar power plant (4.5 MW). Ruacana hydro power station is a run-of-the-river station and due to good rains experienced this year in the highlands of Angola, a favourable percentage of the total installed capacity from the power station will be available.
In addition to the above, NamPower is in the process of procuring a temporary base load power plant (capacity 40-120 MW) to increase the current installed capacity. Even more, NamPower will be sourcing the remaining 60% from imports; ZESCO 39 MW, ZPC 80 MW at a load factor of 50%, while the balance will be supplied by Eskom. The Ministry of Mines and Energy wishes to highlight that Eskom currently has excess power in its system and has indicated its willingness to supply Namibia with power for the year. NamPower is at various stages of implementing renewable energy generation projects such as the Renewable Energy Feed-In-Tariff program (70MW), Greenam solar projects (20MW) and Diaz wind project (44MW), which will, in addition, assist to bridge the gap until the commissioning of a base load power plant.
Considering the sensitivity of the power supply industry, it is important that journalists verify the facts when reporting on issues concerning the sector, as it can have serious repercussions on the nation’s economic stability. Although as stated above, the information in respect to the Annual Report (July 2014/ June 2015) was factual at the time, we urge media houses to always contact the Ministry or NamPower to determine whether the information is still relevant, prior to publishing.
The Minister would thus like to reiterate that the power supply situation is firmly under control and that there will be no load shedding in the country.
Issued by the Office of the Minister:
Obeth Mbuipaha Kandjoze
Minister of Mines and Energy