Gerus - Zambezi 350kV DC Line : Section A and B for NamPower (Pty) Ltd., Namibia
In order to alleviate the energy and transmission shortcomings in the Southern African region, NamPower (the national power utility of Namibia) commissioned the Caprivi Link Interconnector project.
The first stage of the project comprised of a 970km 350kV double circuit bipolar high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line with 300MW transfer capacity. The 350 kV transmission line will run from the Zambezi River, in the eastern part of the country, to Gerus power station, in the hinterland of the country. The project, which was offered through an international competitive bidding process, lasted 22 months. The overall project value, including the transmission line and the extensions at Zambezi and Gerus Substations, is USD337m.
The execution of the project was done through various contracts where the procurement was done in accordance with the requirements of the NamPower Tender and Procurement Policy and The Guidelines to Procurement of International Financial Institutions and on international competitive bidding.
Jyoti Structures Africa (Pty) Ltd (JSA), a subsidiary of Jyoti Structures Limited (JSL), was shortlist by NamPower and participated in a competitive bidding process for the supply and construction of the DC transmission line. JSA was eventually awarded the contract for the construction of two of the three section of the transmission line. The value of this contract was USD85m.
This is the first HVDC Light® project to be built with overhead lines. The conductors of both the negative and positive polarity are mounted on the same poles.
The Caprivi Link Interconnector connects Namibia to the electricity networks of Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and South Africa, creating an alternative route for power imports and exports to and from neighbouring countries. This link will benefit Namibia, and the region, in general, by balancing and optimising thermal supplies in South Africa with hydro reserves in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
All the steel for the transmission line towers have been supplied from JSL steel factory in Nashik, India. The ACSR conductor, earth wire and steel guy wire was sourced from India. The balance of materials was sourced from the USA and Italy.
JSA subcontracted two Namibian companies for the erection component of the project. Through these contracts JSL has invested approximately USD26m into the Namibian economy. During the peak of the project, almost 300 Namibians have been employed through the relevant sub-contractors.
Despite challenging environmental conditions, the project was completed in time and within budget and to the satisfaction of NamPower.
The Caprivi Link not only reduces Namibia’s dependence on one energy supply source, but also relieves congestion on links between Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa by providing an alternative means of transporting power from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia to South Africa. The line materially strengthens the Southern Africa Power Pool, which aims to better allocate use of power resources in the Region, reduce the risk of power disruptions, and contain transmission costs.