Namibia increases regional power imports

 Namibia increases regional power imports

Namibia increases regional power imports.

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WINDHOEK-Namibia has recorded a sharp rise in electricity imports from its neighbours in the Southern African Power Pool (sapp) as the region intensifies efforts for generation and supply of power which is vital for industrialisation.

The sharp increase in the power exports in Namibia from its peers are well captured in the power Import, The index which was published by the Namibian Statistics Agency this week.

According to the index power imports went up on monthly basis, recording an increase of11.9 percent in July 2021, compared to 5.8 percent in June 2021 while annually, electricity import rose by 30.4 percent.

β€œThe annual increase mainly emanated from Eskom Zesco – firm Zambia and ZPC, Zimbabwe. Local production of electricity stood at 48 192 MWh in July 2021 compared to 64 155 MWh produced in June 2021. For the electricity generated locally in July 2021, the independent private producers accounted for 54.4 percent of electricity production. Namibia imported 297 297 MWh of electricity in July 2021 with South Africa supplying 50.9 percent of the electricity imported followed by Zambia (27.3%) and Zimbabwe (12.4%),” The Namibian NSA said.

The increased imports come at the background of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) making tremendous progress in power generation creating new projects with an output of 19 738 megawatts in the past seven years.

To date different countries have commissioned power generation projects resulting in the Region increasing generation  by 19,738 Megawatts (MW), translating to 90% of the targeted capacity of 22,000 MW while bilateral agreements also increased from 4,761 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) in 2014/15 to 7,992 GWh in 2018/2019, and dropped slightly to 5,642 GWh in 2020/2021

β€œThe Electricity Sales Composite Index for July 2021 posted a monthly growth of 4.3 percent compared to a decline of 4.1 percent recorded in June 2021. The index recorded a growth of 2.4 percent year on year. The annual increase in the sales of electricity is due to an increase in domestic consumption of electricity of The Domestic Sales Index recording an increase of 4.4 percent month on month while registering a growth of 2.8 percent on an annual basis. The monthly rise in domestic sales mainly emanates from sales to Redistributors to LPU and to Mines,” NSA said.

According to the statistics bureau, the Export Sales Index posted a monthly marginal decline of 0.4 percent in July 2021 compared to an increase of 1.1 percent registered in June 2021.

Major drivers of power consumption in Namibia has been attributed to increased production in the mining sectors as well as concerted efforts to ramp up production in the manufacturing sector.

The Namibian Government has also put key focus in the manufacturing sector to stimulate growth in the economy following persistent quarter of poor performances from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Namibia has also adopted a new strategy to improve local generation of power through erecting various projects including both conventional and renewable energy sources.

At peak periods the country imports about 65 percent of its domestic consumption from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique in ongoing bilateral power purchase agreements with the neighboring countries.

The Southern African country has also inked an agreement with Germany for the establishment of a hydrogen plant in the coastal town of Luderitz.

Tiri Masawi

is a Business Journalist and Editor for 14 years. He is currently working in Namibia and has written for several Namibian, Zimbabwean, and South African newspapers. He also works as a fixer for BBC in Namibia. He has a firm interest in reading as well as mentoring young journalists in the craft.

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