HomeProjectsNeckartal dam in Namibia "Desert Dragon"

Neckartal dam in Namibia “Desert Dragon”

The Neckartal Dam is the largest dam in Namibia, with a storage capacity holding 857 million cubic meters of water. The dam was built as part of a 5 000-hectare irrigation scheme intended to increase food security and economic development in Kharas region.

A total of N$5.5 billion was spent on the Neckartal Dam which stores the floodwater of the Fish river during the rainy season. Construction on the project began on the 11th of September 2013 and it was completed in 2018 by  Salini Impregilo, an Italian construction company. However, the project was initially expected to finish in 2017 but was delayed due to a court case and labor unrest.

Search for construction leads
  • Region/Country

  • Sector

Want to view building projects in Nairobi only?Click here

Following its completion, the Neckartal Dam was handed over to the agriculture ministry on 25 September 2019. The ministry is planning to develop the irrigation scheme outside the dam, which overflows between January and May.

Also Read US$71 million Fresno Dam repairs proposed in Montana

Reported in 2014

Neckartal dam in Namibia to help boost irrigation

Construction work on the Neckartal Dam worth US $0.21bn, which is progressing as scheduled, is expected to be completed in 36 months’ time. This is according to the Project Manager of the company undertaking the construction – Salini SpA- Fabrizio Lazzarin.

The government of Namibia awarded the contract for the construction of the dam to the company at the end of 2013. Lazzarin has also said that a roller compacted concrete plant, which is to be set up near the construction site of the dam, is expected to be completed by March 2015 as it was a very important part of the dam construction project.

The dam will be made from roller-compacted concrete and will be 80 meters high. Excavation work on the right and left flank dam walls is currently underway.

The Neckartal dam is located on the Fish River, Karas Region, and will be the first-ever phase of the Neckartal Irrigation Scheme. It will harness water from the Fish River and will have the capacity to hold up to 857m3 of water – the water will be used in the irrigation of 5000 hectares of land for agricultural development. Some of the water will also be used for energy production for electricity in the region.

Part of the dam construction project will be the construction of a crossing and pumping station 13 kilometers from the new dam.

Jan 2018

Namibia’s Neckartal Dam ready to collect water

Namibia’s Neckartal Dam is ready to collect water despite the set construction completion date being mid-July this year. The project manager of Salini Impregilo SpA Fabrizio Lazzarin assured various government officials of a smooth sailing construction. The Italian company won the US $230m contract to build the dam near Keetmanshoop.

However, Eric Britton of Knight Piésold consulting engineers said it was difficult to pinpoint the exact completion date of the dam. Britton suggested that October is the soonest that the dam can reach completion.

He also expressed concern over the vetting of the dam’s electrical equipment. Since NamPower is yet to do the vetting, Britton hinted this may delay the full completion of the dam.

According to the agriculture ministry’s director of water supply and sanitation coordination, Leonard Niipare, the bulk electricity supplier had already been provided with the dam’s electrical equipment specifications. Finance permanent secretary Ericah Shafudah said the government has paid Salini’s outstanding invoices of US $49m. There is also an agreement in place to pay the company’s invoices for work done on time.

Additional costs

In the past, Salini halted operations at the dam site over late or non-payment by the government. Agriculture permanent secretary Percy Misika said the cost of the dam might escalate to US $467m. He further added that the government has already paid the US $262m to Salini and the consulting engineer.

Made from roller-compacted concrete and standing about 80 meters high, the Neckartal Dam will harness water from the Fish River to produce hydroelectricity and create a reservoir capable of holding 857m cubic meters of water. It will also irrigate 5 000 hectares of land under development for agricultural production.

A crossing and a pump station with the intake structure will be built 13km downstream from the dam. The water will flow through an 8.7km steel pipe with a diameter of 1,100mm to reach a reservoir that is part of the project.

Oct 2018

Construction of the Neckartal Dam in Namibia nears completion

The Neckartal Dam in the Karas Region of southern Namibia which is still under construction is 95% complete and almost operational.

Minister of agriculture Alpheus Naruseb confirmed the reports and said that Salini Impregilo, the Italian company building the dam pointed out that construction is almost complete and will be handed over to government soon.

Dam handover

Salini Impregilo management has however not given a specific date for the dam handover. They said that the wall of the dam is however completed and only minor jobs are remaining, as well as the rehabilitation of the environment around the dam before handing it over to the government very soon. He added and said that the dam already has the capacity to hold water.

Construction will cost a whopping US $403m and will support a 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) irrigation scheme nearby and is expected to employ around 800 people, and over 1 000 during harvest time; this is according to the ministry.

If you are working on a project and you'd like it featured in our blog. We'll be happy to do so. Please send us pictures and a descriptive article to [email protected]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here