Namibia approves funds to add fourth unit to 249-MW Ruacana

The board of Namibia Power Corp. (NamPower) has approved spending N$350 million (US$51.4 million) to add a fourth 80-MW generating unit at the 249-MW Ruacana hydroelectric project on the Cunene River in Namibia.

NamPower Managing Director Paulinius Shilamba said December 12 that negotiations have commenced to appoint an owner’s engineer to assist NamPower with tender documents for the work as well as supervision of final installation.

“The original design of the Ruacana hydropower station allowed for the installation of four units, of which only three were installed,” Shilamba said. “All civil works required, such as pressure tunnel, surge head bay, penstock, draft tube, and tailrace channel, for the fourth unit were included during the initial construction. Only the electrical and mechanical equipment were not installed.” (HNN 8/3/07)

With growing demand for electricity within Namibia and the region, a study was initiated to determine the feasibility of installing the fourth unit.

“Hydrological, technical, and commercial studies proved the viability of such an investment especially in the light of the prevailing energy prices during peak periods,” Shilamba said.

Estimated commissioning date of the fourth unit addition is June 2010, he said.

Orange River mini-hydropower plants advance

The NamPower official also mentioned a recent agreement by the presidents of South Africa and Namibia to study joint hydroelectric project development on the Orange River, which forms the countries’ common border. (HNN 10/15/07)

“Talks are ongoing with private developers who have carried out detailed work in the past on the development of the hydropower sites along the river,” Shilamba said, referring to the development as Orange River mini-hydropower plants. “We are at the moment busy with the development of intergovernmental memorandum of agreement for the feasibility studies to commence.”

Shilamba spoke to reporters on the occasion of the signing of contracts by NamPower with ABB Namibia and with Jyoti Structures Africa Pty Ltd. and KEC International Ltd., both of India, to build the Caprivi Link Interconnector transmission project. (HNN 11/23/07) ABB won a US$180 million order from NamPower to connect two parts of its grid and boost regional networks. NamPower is building a 350-kilovolt, 300-MW transmission link between the northeastern Caprivi region and the power network in central Namibia.

For information, contact Namibia Power Corp. Ltd., NamPower Center, 15 Luther St., P.O. Box 2864, Windhoek, Namibia; (264) 61-2054111; Fax: (264) 61-232805; Internet: www.nampower.com.na.

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