THE Tsumeb-based electricity infrastructure construction company Power Line Africa (Pty) Ltd has won a tender to design and construct a power line for the national power corporation worth over N$660 million, excluding taxes.
NamPower intends to construct a 400 KV power line from the Kokerboom substation near Keetmanshoop to the Auas substation near Dordabis.
The line is said to be a much-needed bridge to help secure the supply of electricity to Namibia in future, and to open up opportunities for selling power to the Southern African Power Pool.
Not only does this allow for more opportunities, but existing line infrastructure can also not meet future power requirements and needs to be supplemented.
The contract period stretches over 18 months and involves the design and construction of the Auas-Gerus transmission line.
Existing transmission power lines will remain operational during this period and into the future.
The line is expected to cover more than 800 km, and will form part of NamPower's grid lines stretching across Namibia.
The awarding of the tender was announced by the Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) last month.
According to the award notification, the multimillion-dollar contract only attracted five companies.
This included Power Line Africa, Optipower (a division of Murray and Roberts Limited), Transrail Lighting Limited, Norinco International Corporation Limited, as well as a joint venture between Sinohydro Corporation Limited and Adaptive Building Land Construction CC.
Three of the five companies reportedly made it to the last stage, which then saw Power Africa ahead of China-backed Synohydro-Adaptive Building JV and Norinco.
CBPN spokesperson Johanna Kambala said the board received a request for reconsideration from JV Sinohydro Corporation Limited & Adaptive Building Land Construction CC, but found the request to be without merit and proceeded to award the contract.
She said following the reconsideration outcome, JV Sinohydro Corporation Limited & Adaptive Building Land Construction CC attempted an application with the review panel, which also declined, because the board had already awarded the contract.
NamPower owns a transmission system and network of between 132 kV and 400 kV of overhead power lines, spanning a distance of more than 25 000 km – one of the longest in the world and enough to circle a continent.
According to the power corporation's website, the national grid has been home-grown – designed and largely built by Namibian – and continuous investments are being made to strengthen and keep it in a superior condition to ensure an efficient and effective network with minimum disruption.
The transmission line traverses the Khomas, Hardap and //Kharas regions.