Namibia Experiences Third Blackout

NAMIBIA on Friday experienced the third countrywide power outage this year when a technical problem occurred at the Auas sub-station east of Windhoek, which caused the Auas/Kokerboom 400kV line to trip.

NamPower spokesperson Tangeni Kambangula confirmed the outage, and said the power utility was still investigating the cause.

The blackout, which Kambangula said NamPower did not expect, affected the central, central northern and western parts of Namibia, and lasted for up to three hours.

"Although NamPower does everything in its power to prevent any technical glitches, unforeseen faults are not an uncommon phenomenon and can be experienced at any time," she stated.

Kambangula said the southern parts of Namibia and northern areas such as the Zambezi region and Otjiwarongo were not affected. The northern parts get electricity from a separate link from the Zambezi substation outside Katima Mulilo to the Gerus substation outside Otjiwarongo.

"The power supply to the affected areas was restored in phases, with the central regions, which include Windhoek, being the first to be re-energised at 22h52," she added.

Mines and energy minister Obeth Kandjoze on Friday also confirmed the power outage, but could not state the cause.

"The cause of the outage is not yet determined, and is being investigated," he said.

Some people had fun on Facebook, jokingly posting that they wished the blackout happened while they were in a shop or in a bank that they could rob to end their financial woes.

One, Fabio Matuana, on Facebook told his friends to relax, saying "In Angola, we sometimes go for a month without electricity". Anna Susanna Straemke made the most of the blackout, saying she was driving through the streets looking at the stars.

Albert Schiefer, on a more serious note, expressed concern that NamPower on Friday did not know what caused the blackout.

"Are we losing control of our utilities?" he asked.

Windhoek City Police chief Abraham Kanime said they have yet to find out if there were any crimes committed during the blackout.

"Since most cases were reported in isolation, it is hard to say," he noted.

Namibia experienced its second power outage this year in June when the Aries/Kokerboom 400 kV line, which is the main line feeding electricity from Eskom in South Africa, tripped.

The Aries/Kokerboom trip affected other transmission lines and two generators at Ruacana and the Van Eck power stations, respectively.

In April, the country also experienced a blackout, which was a result of a new turbine being fitted at the Ruacana hydroelectric plant. The outage, as reported by The Namibian at the time, left major towns without power for up to two hours.

Source: The Namibian.