Optimism over Namibia’s energy industry

18 May 2020 | Energy

With recently introduced reforms in Namibia’s renewable energy sector and the growing presence of international oil companies entering the hydrocarbons sector, the ministry of mines and energy is optimistic about the country’s energy future.
In a statement by the African Energy Chamber, although Namibia is largely a consuming country, it hopes to grow its upstream industry and improve energy security through diversifying its energy mix
Namibia’s mines minister Tom Alweendo said during a webinar hosted by the Africa Energy Chamber that there are very positive and encouraging signs when talking about the hydrocarbons sector. “We have had a couple of investors that are keen on entering the market and potentially finding something,” he said.
During the webinar hosted in partnership with Africa Oil and Power on Friday, he added that on the renewable energy sector, they have been able to introduce some reforms that have made it possible for independent power producers to come into the sector and produce clean energy, especially through solar and wind.
Alweendo was joined by the Chamber’s Executive Chairman, NJ Ayuk, who encouraged a practical and realistic energy transition that addresses the continent’s energy needs first. “Oil and gas are going to be around for a long time and will remain a major part of many countries across Africa. The same can be said for clean energy. We have to be environmentally conscious and ensure that lowering carbon emissions remains a key priority. But we also have to look at where we stand as a continent and address our needs first.”
Other topics explored during the discussion included plans on the development of the Kudu gas project, with Alweendo saying his ministry is currently relooking the project’s business model and hopes to move forward thereafter.
On other key projects, Alweendo said the 37 500 bpd barge-mounted refinery in Walvis Bay was due to be finalized in March this year but was deterred by Covid-19. Despite this, the ministry is exploring other avenues to reach completion on the U$370 million project by the end of 2020.
The Angola-Namibia cross border Baynes hydroelectric dam is currently undergoing feasibility studies and is planned to commence with construction in June this year. The 600MW output will be split in 300MW for Angola and 300MW for Namibia.

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