NamPower clarifies recent power outages

Martin Endjala

Following public agitation towards power outages experienced last week and in February, the Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower) has clarified that the recent interruption in electricity supply in some regions was due to severe rainfall, lightning and the breakdown of a transformer.

In response to Windhoek Observer questions last week, NamPower Corporate Communication Officer Rosa Nikanor, explained that the outages in southern Namibia and the Omaheke Region were the result of heavy rainfall in those areas.

She said it is important to note that various factors can contribute to grid failures, with weather conditions playing a significant role.

While noting that severe rainfall in the Omaheke Region has resulted in power outages due to fallen trees and transmission line poles that were damaged due to lightning strikes.

With regards to the breakdown of the transformer at Harib Substation in the south last month, which affected border towns such as Ariamsvlei and Noordoewer, she said this was due to an electrical fault which caused serious damage, and necessitated a replacement of equipment.

However, due to logistical challenges and the required testing procedures, there was a delay in delivering the replacement transformer from Windhoek to Harib.

As a result, the supply to the affected borders was restored only a week later, a delay the state-owned company said it deeply regrets.

“The prolonged power outages are usually attributed to major system faults, however, the plans currently being considered is to replace the current wooden pole structures with steel or concrete structures. This is, however, a long-term strategy as it is time-consuming and very costly,” said Nikanor, when asked what is the way forward.

Nikanor is cautioning the public to treat all power lines and electrical points as live during power outages as no prior notification is given when the power supply is restored.

NamPower further clarified that regarding the recent power outages in the capital last week, these incidents are unrelated to the power utility but to the City of Windhoek.

A recent study conducted by the Electricity Control Board (ECB) on the cost of unplanned electricity outages in Namibia revealed that the disruptions can cost the economy up to N$1 billion annually during weekdays, translating to an estimated N$41.4 million per hour.

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