Namibia, Angola maintain energy talks

ENERGY AGREEMENT … Namibia and Angola’s energy ministers held a bilateral meeting on Monday on the 881 megawatt Baynes Binational Hydro power project. The two governments are developing the project on the lower Kunene River, along the common border of the two countries. The two ministers, João Baptista Borges and Tom Alweendo, signed an agreement at the Laúca Hydroelectric Power Station in Angola. Photo: Contributed

The Angolan and Namibian governments have reiterated the need for the two countries to collaborate on the Baynes Binational Power Project.

The two countries held a bilateral meeting on the 881 megawatt hydro power project at the Laúca Hydroelectric Power Station in Angola on Monday.

The two governments plan on developing the project on the lower Kunene River, along the common border of the two countries.

Monday’s meeting was a follow-up to a bilateral virtual meeting between the two countries’ energy ministers in November last year.

In a joint statement, João Baptista Borges and Tom Alweendo stressed the importance of the Baynes Binational Power Project for Angola and Namibia, as well as for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

“Considering that Angola is not yet connected to the regional transmission network of SADC, it has become crucial that the Angola-Namibia Transmission Interconnection is expedited to ensure that Angola is connected to the regional power trading platform,” noted the statement.

The transmission network to the Baynes project will further complement the interconnectivity of the two countries to the rest of the region and provide extra export routes for excess power on the Kwanza and Kunene river basins.

It has been recommended that a joint Baynes implementation unit be set up in either country, as well as a joint bank account, with both governments expected to allocate annual budgets.

The two countries’ energy ministries also approved the updated Techno-Economic Feasibility Study report of 2023, as well as the development of an additional regulating dam, about 12km downstream from the main dam. The dam will have an installed capacity of 21 megawatts.

“It will also serve as a road corridor bridge,” noted the ministers.

The two governments are expected to finalise and endorse that the project be implemented using the public model, before September this year.

“The government lawyers of Angola and Namibia have to meet and finalise the legal review of the Baynes Binational Implementation Agreement, and that Namibia is to host the joint review meeting in Windhoek in June 2024,” the statement noted.

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