Government committed to Kudu and Baynes projects

WINDHOEK; Minister of Mines and Energy Obed Kandjoze says Government is working around the clock to ensure the realisation of the Kudu Gas-to-Power and Baynes Hydropower projects.

Kandjoze gave this assurance during the opening of the two-day 2015 Mining Expo and Conference in the capital on Wednesday.

He said that in addressing power supply challenges, the government wants to ensure that all solutions are considered, taking into consideration the strategic flexibility of the country to ensure that the Kudu Gas-to-Power and Baynes projects are realised.

The 884 megawatt (MW) Kudu power plant will be located in the area of Oranjemund and is expected to be commissioned in 2019.

The 300 megawatt (MW) Baynes hydropower plant will be developed by Namibia and Angola at a cost of US dollars 1.3 billion (N.dollars 15.5 billion) and is expected to be commissioned by 2024.

The hydropower project is situated along the Cunene River, 200 kilometres downstream of Ruacana in the Kunene Region.

Kandjoze said other long-term solutions such as renewable energy are considered to be part of the energy mix for the country.

He noted that Namibia remains a net importer of electricity and in order to address the situation, several generation projects are planned in line with the National Integrated Resource Plan (NIRP).

Kandjoze stressed that in addressing the challenges posed as being a net importer and to meet the rising demand for electricity in the country in the medium to long term, Government through a Cabinet decision undertook to embark on the Kudu Gas-to-Power Project.

The minister said in order to ensure that the project reaches financial closure and that electricity tariffs are affordable, Government issued a credit support to the project to this effect.

The project is estimated to cost about US.dollars 1.2 billion (about N.dollars 14.8 billion), and aims to increase power-generation in Namibia.

“It is expected that the Kudu power project, which represents the least cost of supply for Namibia, will replace the high electricity costs from imports and short-term supply,” he said.

Over 100 mining companies and government institutions are taking part in the expo and more than 1 500 are taking part in the conference.

The expo and conference end on Thursday.