Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Electricity Namibia or Nampower

Here we are in Namibia, and I am very apprehensive. You are probably wondering why? The answer will be obvious in a moment. NamPower handles electricity production and distribution in Namibia. NamPower has been having a ton of headaches with supply of electricity.

Namibia is awash with Uranium, the essential commodity needed to get the uranium form the ground to the market place is electricity, and that they do not seem to have enough. Almost 50 percent of the electricity needed has to be imported form neighboring South Africa; but South Africa herself does not have enough. Recently, the consumer was given a choice, increase in electricity rates (or tariff) or rotating blackout. Majority of the customers voted for the higher rates. You can imagine what would happen to the poor people.

NamPower should be given some credits. Unlike some of her African neighbors, at least they are exploring all the possible options, and plan to utilize what is available, including as many as a dozen hydro dams along the same Kunene River, is this “green or is it green”, this would be more power and clean one at that.

Last year, the poorer desert Republic gave $40 million US to Zimbabwe to refurbish her electricity equipment so at least they will be able to get some power from the North, as well as the South.

The once, breadbasket of Southern Africa is now begging from her poorer sister. Before you say what is wrong with that? Think about it, when minority whites were running, South Africa, Southwest Africa (now Namibia) and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Zimbabwe was producing the lion’s share of food for the whole region. Now Zimbabwe cannot feed itself.

Let me stick to the subject of this Blog, besides we have already shed some light on Zimbabwe in our last Blog.

In summary, there seem to be more cheetahs on this landscape the hippos.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Electricity Zambia and Electricity Zimbabwe

After long break, I am back. The journey for electricity in Africa has taken us to Zambia and Zimbabwe. This one is going to be a tricky one, because Zambia and Zimbabwe are like Siamese twins where electricity is concerned. These two countries share not only the power generation source but also the transmission lines.

The Kariba dam which was constructed in the 1950’s is not only sitting on the common border of the two Z’s as I will call them, but it is jointly owned by both, so no matter how bad one country behaves, the other can say all she wants, but can do nothing.

As a matter of fact, the transmission lines are jointly owned at a certain point. Power outages are common in both countries, as a matter of fact, Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) tend to flex its muscle quite a bit, and there is nothing anybody can do.

The situation in Zimbabwe does not help things any better.Folks, as much as I would like to elaborate on the electricity situation in this twin Z’s; I have to admit I am ashamed to even mention them, but this blog is equal opportunity, and one does not have to go too far to see HIPPOS in these two countries.