Message Mar 21 Mai 2013 16:35

NamPower in talks with Zambia's CEC on Kudu plant stake

Namibian power utility NamPower is close to reaching a deal with Zambia's Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) to take a 30% equity stake in its much-delayed Kudu gas-to-power project, MD Paulus Shilamba said on Tuesday.

As part of the deal, which is expected to be signed before the end of June, CEC will also buy 300 MW of electricity from the $1.2-billion plant to supply mines in the copper belt, he added.

"CEC is also keen to take up minority equity shareholding in KuduPower," Shilamba told journalists at a briefing in Windhoek.

The Kudu project near Oranjemund in south-western Namibia will pump gas from the Kudu field about 170 km offshore to a combined cycle gas power plant.

The plant, which will have a total capacity of up to 1 050 MW when completed in 2017, will be connected to the Namibian and South African electricity grids for local and regional use.

NamPower will retain a 51% stake in the project and was also in talks with an overseas partner for the remaining 19%. Shilamba declined to give details.

It is working on a deal with South African power utility Eskom to buy up to 200 MW for its energy-starved grid.

NamPower has been working on projects to boost supplies of electricity in Namibia, one of the world's top uranium producers, but most have been delayed due to financing problems and disputes over contracts.

Its current installed capacity is 507 MW, below a demand of 534 MW. Demand was expected to rise to 800 MW by 2018.