President says demand for electricity has been on increase and poses a challenge for Namibia

WINDHOEK: The Head of State yesterday said it is critical for Namibia not to waste time in implementing local projects that will ensure the security of the electricity supply in Namibia.

Delivering the State of the Nation address in the capital, President Hifikepunye Pohamba said the demand for electricity in the country has been on the increase and poses a challenge for Namibia due to its inadequate local power generation capacity.

He added that this situation was exacerbated by a recent announcement by Eskom in South Africa, from where Namibia imports the bulk of its electricity, that the electricity available for export will be reduced significantly.

This will have a direct negative impact on the power supply to Namibia, Pohamba said, adding that in order to ensure a continuous supply of electricity for the country, national power utility NamPower has launched a Short-term Critical Supply Project, covering the period from 2012 to 2016.

The project involves the refurbishment of the Van Eck Coal Power Station in Windhoek and the replacement of turbines on units one, two and three at the Ruacana Hydro-power Station.

It also includes the replacement of all diesel generator sets at the Paratus Power Station in Walvis Bay, and securing short-term power purchase agreements with suppliers in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.