Power shortage looms for Namibia

WINDHOEK: Namibia is expected to experience an interim power supply constraint as of this evening due to transmission constraints from the neighbouring countries, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

A media statement issued by the Minister of Mines and Energy Obed Kandjoze indicated that the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is facing a challenge to deliver the agreed 80 mega watts (mw) due to physical breakdown of voltage transformer of their major substations.

In addition, Kandjoze said, the system of one of the regional suppliers and transmission partners, Eskom is currently under severe constrain and as a result, it has withdrawn all power exports to its neighbours during evening peak hours.

Namibia import up to 80 per cent of electricity from Eskom.

‘These events are impacting on guaranteed supply in terms of direct imports from the two countries, resulting in a shortage of up to 90mw in the NamPower supply system, and this is applicable to evening peak hours (18h00 to 21h00),’he said.

The peak demand for the country currently stands at 530mw excluding Skorpion Zinc Mine) against a peak supply of 285mw from local generation sources.

Efforts are being made by the utilities to get the line back on stream, he said, adding that this line supplies four utilities in the region.

In the meantime, he said, NamPower has requested assistance from partner utilities in line with Southern African Power Pool protocols.

Kandjoze then appealed to all customers and the nation to continue implementing electricity saving measures such as switching off air-conditioners, geysers and swimming pool pumps and all other non-essential appliances during peak times, which is eight to ten in the morning and seven to nine in the evening to reduce the demand.

‘The Ministry of Mines and Energy and NamPower relies on your cooperation and support and pledge to keep you informed about developments regarding the situation,’ he stated.