NAMIBIA: Natura Energy to build 50 MW solar power plant in Arandis

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NAMIBIA: Natura Energy to build 50 MW solar power plant in Arandis©Nguyen Trong NhanShutterstock

Energy company Natura Energy is already working on the project to build and operate a 50-megawatt solar power plant in western Namibia. The energy produced by TeraSun Energy's solar photovoltaic park will be sold directly to large electricity consumers, without the intervention of the national operator. This is the result of a new reform, opening up the Namibian electricity market to independent producers.

Natura Energy is ready to seize the new opportunities offered by the Namibian electricity market. The private energy project development and implementation company will start construction work on a solar photovoltaic power plant in Arandis, a mining town in the Erongo region of western Namibia, in the first quarter of 2020.

TeraSun Energy’s solar park will have a production capacity of 50 megawatts. During the construction phase, 60 jobs will be created, and five more during the operation phase.

The project cost is US$63.2 million, or N$900 million. A sum to be mobilised by TeraSun Energy, a subsidiary of Natura Energy, whose role is to commit large electricity consumers to conclude electricity supply contracts at competitive prices, with firm supply periods between 5 and 15 years, depending on the individual needs of customers.

Liberalisation of electricity sales drives investment

The Natura Energy solar project in Namibia is mainly driven by a recent government reform in the electricity market. In April 2019, the Namibian government liberalised the sale of electricity. This measure will take effect as of September 1, 2019. Private consumers and independent producers will be able to carry out energy supply transactions directly, without recourse to NamPower, the national electricity company.

Private energy producers will also be able to trade with each other, which will increase competition in the market and investment in the sector.

Namibia, which imports about 60% of its electricity needs from other countries in the region (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique), aims through this liberalisation to better involve private investors in the electricity sector.

Natura Energy’s solar project positions the company as a pioneer in the private sector of electricity sales in Namibia. According to Managing Director Ezio Vernetti, Natura Energy will start selling electricity to its customers by the end of 2020.

Boris Ngounou

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