Namibia’s Nampower Ready for Eskom Shutdown

Nampower has put in place measures to ensure a continued supply of electricity to Namibians in the event that South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, is disconnected.

NamPower managing director Simson Haolofu on Friday said while Namibia produces 40% of its energy requirement, it imports 30% of it from South Africa, and the rest from others neighbouring countries. 

Eskom in a statement issued last week, confirmed it is involved in a contractual dispute with the South African arm of Oracle Corporation.

NamPower managing director Simson Haolofu

Eskom disputes Oracle’s initial claim that it had been underpaid by approximately N$7.3 billion. Eventually, the amount claimed by Oracle was reduced to about N$400 million.

Eskom offered to settle the N$166 million, and proposed a verification and court process to legally and sustainably resolve the dispute. Oracle rejected this approach, threatening to terminate its services to Eskom.

“As far as Eskom is concerned, the amount due to Oracle is approximately N$166 million in total,” the statement read.

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Eskom then approached the South African High Court to compel Oracle in essence to continue providing it with technical support services until April 2022.

The court dismissed the application last week, Eskom intends to launch an application for leave to appeal.

Considering that most of the services provided are computerised, Eskom’s mitigating measures may be too little too late.

NamPoweraims to ensure that the country continues to be supplied in any and all situations, as it has arrangements with other suppliers in the region to make sure the country’s energy requirements are met at all times.

He said NamPower is an independent company and makes its own decisions pertaining to power supply.

He said NamPower owns and operates three power stations with a combined capacity of 459.50 MW. It is currently rolling out a number of power-generation projects based on directives from Ministry of Mines and Energy to reduce Namibia’s dependency on imports. 

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These power stations Ruacana hydroelectric power plant (347MW), the Van Eck coal-powered plant in Windhoek (90 MW), and Walvis Bay’s Anixas heavy fuel-oil-powered plant (22.5 MW) are the main sources of local power generation capacity in the country.

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