Work begins on new Auas-Gerus transmission line
30 August 2021 | Infrastructure
The 400 kV transmission line is part of Nampower’s investment in expanding its 400 kV transmission infrastructure backbone, by more than 800 kilometres.
The construction of the transmission line is a testament of NamPower’s ambition to deliver sustainable security of supply and a least-cost tariff path that will support economic growth and maintain the company’s financial sustainability.
To ensure that NamPower maintains pace with the evolving electricity needs of the country, the line will allow the utility to serve an increased number of customers through access to its existing Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and prospective solar, hydro, biomass, wind and other generation plants, thereby enhancing accessibility to clean energy in the country.
Further to that, the line will also allow for an increased transfer capacity to NamPower’s transmission customers to alleviate challenges currently experienced in ensuring continued electricity supply. The new transmission line will enhance NamPower’s ability to trade electricity between other countries within the South African Power Pool (SAPP).
In addition, the line is also expected to benefit all Namibians through an increased access to data services, as NamPower currently avails its fibre-optic network through its subsidiary, the GridOnline, to licensed telecommunication service providers.
Line construction is expected to be conducted using primarily the lightweight Cross-Rope Suspension Tower with the conductors in a compact delta configuration. This tower uses a reduced amount of steel and blends into the surroundings with the aim to minimise the environmental impact, as well as to reduce pollution. In addition, it aims to minimise the impact on bird life, as certain identified sections on the structure will be marked with bird flight diverters.
The line route will traverse the Khomas and Otjozondjupa regions. The alignment of the line is expected to cross the B6 road to the west of the Hosea Kutako International airport, as well as the B1 south of Otjiwarongo and the C38 between Otjiwarongo and Outjo.
Open international bidding
The contractor, Power Line Africa, was appointed through a process of Open International Bidding, conducted by the Central Procurement Board of Namibia. The accepted contract amount for the construction of the transmission line is N$629,801,144. The project is expected to be completed by the second half of 2022.
Over and above its continued investment in new generation capacity, NamPower will implement further projects to expand its 400 kV transmission capacity to ensure that it can continue to deliver on its mandate of providing reliable electricity for the future needs of Namibia.
NamPower owns a transmission system and a network of 66 kV to 400 kV overhead lines, spanning a distance of more than 11 704 km. Continuous investments are made to keep the national grid in a superior condition to ensure an efficient, reliable and effective network with minimal disruptions.