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Namibia secures World Bank funding for landmark energy project

In a significant milestone for Namibia, the World Bank has greenlit the nation’s inaugural energy project financed by the institution. Aimed at fortifying the reliability of Namibia’s transmission network while fostering greater incorporation of renewable energy, the $138.5 million initiative will be overseen by NamPower, the national electricity utility.

“Namibia stands as a regional trailblazer in the transition toward a greener, more sustainable future,” remarked Satu Kahkonen, World Bank Country Director for Namibia. “The World Bank is proud to bolster Namibia’s strides in expanding domestic energy generation through renewable solutions, aligning with the country’s Second Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPPII). This venture will empower NamPower to spearhead forthcoming renewable energy projects.”

Comprising three key components, the project will focus on the development of the second Auas-Kokerboom transmission line, the establishment of a utility-scale Battery Energy Storage System facility, and the provision of technical support to enhance the viability of NamPower’s renewable energy endeavors.

Expressing enthusiasm for the project’s approval, Kahenge S. Haulofu, Managing Director of NamPower, emphasised its strategic significance in fortifying Namibia’s electricity transmission infrastructure. “This investment represents a pivotal step in meeting Namibia’s evolving electricity demands,” stated Haulofu. “The new transmission line will play a pivotal role in expanding access to variable renewable energy sources within Namibia and facilitating regional electricity trade.”

Despite Namibia’s abundant renewable energy potential, the current installed capacity only represents a fraction of total generation. This initiative seeks to address this disparity by bolstering the nation’s power grid, minimizing outage risks, and fostering opportunities for power trade within the Southern African Power Pool.

Funding from the IBRD Fund for Innovative Global Public Goods Solutions and the Green Climate Fund will be instrumental in the development of the second utility-scale battery storage facility. This investment is poised to further bolster Namibia’s renewable energy landscape, enhancing grid stability, reducing reliance on imports, and managing demand peaks effectively.

-Picture: Nampower