Paulina Moses:

The Kudu Gas power station is expected to be up and running by 2017, potentially making Namibia a net exporter, rather than an importer of electricity. We will not depend on anyone for power. The southern African region will depend on us, which is a first in history.

These prophetic words were spoken by the Managing Director of Nampower, Mr Paulinus Shilamba, during an exclusive interview with the Namib Times at Arandis on Friday.

Mr Shilamba, who was attending the Arandis Oil and Gas conference, said that “Construction on the gas field is scheduled to commence between June and July next year. The construction will start next year in June or July.”

There are however a few things that need to be done before the Kudu Gas project can take off. 

Mr Shilamba said that 49% of the Kudu gas field shares will be on the market as from June this year: “Nam-power is currently the only shareholder in the Kudu gas field. It will cost U$ 1.1 billion to construct the gas field. Nampower does not have a big balance sheet to fork out U$ 1.1 billion and can only afford 51% and will therefore be farming out the other 49% to investors.” 

Nampower will remain the majority share-holder in the project, but are looking for investors, especially those with experience in gas power stations to come on board. Mr Shilamba explained that Namibia does not have this required expertise, thus Nam-power will be sourcing expertise and investors internationally through a tender process.

The proposed power station will also require the services of a com-pany to construct the power plant: “The bid for the Equipment Procurement Contractor is already on the market and by December we will have the successful company. We need a company to design the equipment, to manufacture the equipment, to procure the equipment, construct and commission the gas field.” 

“Nampower still has to sign the gas sales agreement with upstream companies, the final activity is the signing or conclusion of the gas agreement between Nampower and the upstream companies,” he added.The only downside to the argument is of course that Namibia will still have to export the gas, in order to produce electricity. 

“The power station will use gas to generate electricity, but we will have to buy the gas.” The final price of gas will be determined by a number of factors, including information from the front-end engineering of the plant. Mr Shilamba pledged that these major mile-stones en route to the Kudu gas project will be reached before the end of the year. 

Currently Namibia imports around 53% of its energy requirements. In June 2012 the country had a total installed capacity of 1108 megawatts.

The Kudu gas field is located west of Oranjemund, about 200 kilometres offshore. It is understood that in March 2014 Nampower is expected to announce the winning bids for the design and engineering of the Kudu gas field, as well as the construction of an 800 megawatt power plant.