6 June 2002

Namibia-Botswana Power Corporations Sign Agreement

The Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower) and Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) have signed a N$ 80 million cooperation agreement to supply electricity to the Ghanzi and De Hoek areas in Botswana and Namibia respectively.

At the signing ceremony of the two Power Sales Agreements in Gaborone, Botswana early May, BPC’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr John Kaluzi said the signing of these agreements would open a new chapter in the cooperation between NamPower and BPC.

In addition to the back-to-back supply arrangements, the project will be jointly engineered and managed by the two power companies from the tender process to commissioning with further cooperation envisaged during operations, he noted. He indicated that this follows the agreement, reached between the two parties with the full and active support of their governments to construct a 132 kilovolts (kV) transmission line from Omaere in Namibia to Charles Hill at the Botswana/Namibia Border and from Charles Hill to Ghanzi will be teed off at De Hoek to supply the electricity to Talismanis.

He noted that hitherto, Ghanzi has been supplied at 11kV, fed from Diesel Generators operated by BEMCO, on full energy purchase agreement with BPC, while Talismanis (in Namibia) has not had a centralised reticulation system. “This decision to bring in a 132 kV supply was made considering the long-term sustainability of the current arrangements as well as the projected load growth at both Ghanzi and Talismanis, which are expected to peak at about eight MW and two MW respectively by the year 2015,” he stressed.

For, Botswana, the provision of the supply will replace costly diesel-generation and ensure availability of electricity for many years to come, said Mr Kaluzi. He said that the two power utilities would be responsible for financing the portion of the project that falls within the borders of their respective countries. He maintained that a 132,33kV De Hoek substation would be constructed at Talismanis at an approximate cost of N$ 3 million, while 132/11kV substation to be built near Ghanzi is estimated to cost N$ 5 million.

The construction period for the entire project is expected to be 12 months and the expected labour force to be engaged on this project will peak at 150 people, said Kaluzi. He added: “With a current demand of 200 kilowatts (kW) for Talismanis and approximately 1500 kW for Ghanzi, this project ushers in an era of stable and reliable supply with ample capacity to meet the developmental needs of these areas”.

Meanwhile, NamPower Managing Director, Dr Leake Hangala said NamPower is a good customer to supply power to the people of Botswana. He noted that this arrangement is expected to strengthen their already existing relationship as well as contribute to the development of human resources within their respective utilities. According to him, Namibia is getting her power from South Africa, Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Mr Hangala indicated that the power line from DRC is in full capacity, adding that NamPower need to increase the power line from Zambia in order to get more power from the DRC. He added that NamPower’s aims and objectives are to work with power utilities in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region with a view to make the region self-sufficient in electricity generation and supply. (MFAIB/NAMPA)

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