Nampower to Tap Into Regional Grid
Nov 13, 2007 - All Africa Global Media
National power utility, NamPower, is optimistic
Namibia will start receiving electricity through
the Caprivi Link Interconnector Power Line by 2009.
The Caprivi Link Interconnector Power Line is one of the major projects the company
has embarked on in an effort to counter serious power problems currently facing
The power supply situation in the country remains
unstable with the problem likely to be overcome in
the next two years when projects such as the Kudu
Power Project, Walvis Bay Power Station, Caprivi
Link Interconnector, Hwange Power Station Rehabilitation,
Baynes Hydro Power and Wind Power are in full operation.
These have different timelines.
It is anticipated the Caprivi link project will
create a connection between the Namibian, Zambian
and South African electricity networks and will provide
Namibia with an alternative source of foreign energy
and lessen its current dependence on South Africa.
In June this year, NamPower launched a N$3-billion
bond issue to fund the expansion of the electricity
transmission network connecting Namibia to Zambia.
In September last year, NamPower completed the first
phase of the line, a 220kV line from Victoria Falls
to Katima Mulilo. NamPower is positive that the construction
of the line - from Katima Mulilo to Otjiwarongo -
will be completed in mid-2009. "The project
is progressing well. They are busy with bush clearing.
This is where the line will pass," said NamPower
spokesperson, John Kaimu.
Recently, NamPower appointed ABB, a leading power
and automation technology group, to construct Converter
Stations at Gerus and Zambezi substations respectively
as part of the Caprivi Link Interconnector Project.
The tender is worth US$180 million.
The construction of a 970km 350Kv high voltage direct
current (HVDC) line from the Zambezi substation (near
Katima Mulilo) to Gerus substation (situated between
Otjiwarongo and Outjo) is anticipated to carry 300MW.
The design allows for a future upgrade of the Link
to 600MW, Kaimu said. According to Kaimu, the line
will interconnect electricity networks of Namibia,
Zambia, Zimbabwe, DRC, Mozambique and South Africa
and will create an alternative route of power imports
and exports to and from neighbouring countries. The
Caprivi link will relieve congestion experienced
during peak periods on the inter-connection between
Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa by providing
an alternative path to transmit power from the DRC
and Zambia to South Africa.
He added that upon commissioning, power to customers
in the Caprivi Region would also be supplied from
both Zambia (ZESCO) and Namibia (NamPower). This
means that the Caprivi Region will, for the first
time, be connected to the Namibian grid. "The
transmission will use ABB's innovative HVDC light
system, a high-voltage direct current transmission
technology that will stabilise the weak Namibian
and Zambian networks, thus increasing grid reliability
in the region," he said. ABB is responsible
for system engineering including design, supply and
installation of the two converter stations and earth
electrodes. The system is scheduled to be in operation
by the end of 2009.
The construction tender was awarded to ABB after
a competitive and transparent process. ABB is a reputable
leading power and automation technology group whose
services NamPower has enlisted before, Kaimu said.