Eskom importing electricity from Namibia

Namibian power utility NamPower is currently exporting electricity to its South African counterpart Eskom, which is struggling to meet demand, an official said Monday.

“We are currently exporting up to 200MW of electricity to South Africa,” Werner Graupe, senior manager for energy trading at NamPower, told a Sapa correspondent on Monday.

“The electricity comes from our Ruacana hydropower plant on the Kunene River bordering Angola. Due to the good rains experienced in the area, particularly southern Angola, the Kunene River flows strongly, sometimes at 300 cubic metres per second, driving the turbines at the power plant, and we can export up to 200MW off-peak,” Graupe said.

Namibia usually imports roughly 60 percent of its power from neighbouring countries, including Eskom.

During good rainy seasons in the catchment areas of the Kunene River, mainly in Angola, where the river has its source, Namibia can export electricity outside peak times, which is late at night.

Eskom is struggling to cope with South Africa’s electricity demand due to ailing infrastructure and maintenance backlogs.

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Eskom importing electricity from Namibia