Development of the country’s first-ever wind power generation plant, with a capacity to generate 44 megawatts of electricity, has started with a detailed wind assessment at Diaz Point in Lüderitz.
The project is set to cost N$1 billion (US$150 million).
Developers would set up wind turbines at Diaz Point. Among many technical requirements, the assessment would determine the number of turbines needed as well as their size.
Partners involved in the project are United Africa Group, Japanese-based Sojitz Corporation, and Korea Midland Power based in Seoul, South Korea.
The three companies signed a memorandum of understanding in Windhoek late last year, which formalised the basic framework between them as partners.
Sojitz says in a statement that it would be the first time a Japanese firm participates in an independent power project in sub-Saharan Africa. Sojitz is involved in the development of energy as well as technical equipment.
The three partners would raise the money through project financing.
If all goes according to plan, the wind power generation plant would sign a long-term power supply agreement with the national energy utility company, NamPower, by April this year. The plant would only go into operation in two years’ time – in 2013 – after which it would start considering the expansion of the plant to generate 90 MW.
Namibia relies mainly on South Africa for its energy needs and is complemented by neighbouring countries, for nearly 50 percent of its energy requirements.
The increasing demand for power in the region continues to exert pressure on the national energy utility to have its own energy generation plants for both domestic and regional demand.
Hence, the country is on full steam to establish its own power generation plants, refurbishing and expanding the existing power plants and setting up new ones, a process that has NamPower considering renewable energy very seriously.
United Africa Group would own majority shareholding in the wind power plant with the two foreign partners owning equal minority shareholding.
“Sojitz would make use of United Africa Group’s know-how and networks to enter new business fields, including electric power generation and infrastructure development,” says the statement from the company.
United Africa Group has been exploring wind power generation since 2007, and has interests in the mining of uranium as well. Sojitz says it brings to the table commercial expertise and project coordination while Komipo would be the technical partner providing expertise and the benefits of being a global power leader.
Komipo is a full subsidiary of South Korea’s national energy utility, Korea Electric Power Corporation. It is involved in development and management of thermal, wind and tide power generation.
- Wind Power Africa Conference and Exhibition (saaea.blogspot.com)