Namibia: Erongo gas power project to go commercial in 2016

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Namibia’s Erongo gas project at the Walvis Bay is expected to start commercial operations by August 2016; Nampower Managing director Paulinus Shilamba has said.

The project will be able to pump a total of 250 megawatt (MW) gas power to the country’s grid, which is a mile stone in curbing power shortage in the country.

The Erongo gas power plant project which was given to Xaris Energy after the company emerged as the successful bidder, and the company is expected to make a final investment decision (FID) and keep pace to see it operational by the date.

The power project is estimated to cost US$635m (N$1 billion) and will include construction of a power station, a modern floating storage and re-gasification. A gas pipeline will also be constructed as part of the Erongo gas power project.

The Erongo gas power project has got the approval of the government after Cabinet endorsed it last month; the Nampower board of directors has also approved the commercial agreement to the project.

“I am pleased to announce that significant progress has been made with regard to the implementation of this project,” said Shilamba.

The related commercial agreement between Nampower with Xaris Energy and other financiers led by Standard Bank would soon be resumed with the view of reaching a financial close by mid this year. 30% of the equity will be owned by NamPower.

Namibia is currently importing 70% of power from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia, and is developing other power generation initiatives such as solar plants.