Nine power stations for Lower Orange River

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 09 November 2010

Namibia’s national power utility says plans are moving ahead to construct a series of hydro-electric power stations along the Lower Orange River.

Orange River hydroelectric power project to begin in 2013. Photo by 'coda' under Creative Commons 2.0

NamPower Managing Director Paulinus Shilamba told IPS that they are now finalising a study on the project with a South African company, Clarkson Power, with whom they signed a memorandum of understanding with last year.

The Lower Orange Hydroelectrical Power Scheme will include up to nine run-of-the-river generating stations on a stretch of the river with the potential to generate between 90 and 120 megawatts of power. Shilamba said Nampower expects to generate 45 megawatts from the first two installations.

“We are going to develop the power generating project in two phases, with the first two sites to be developed by 2013,” he said.

Reporting on the utility’s call for tenders, online publication Engineering News said the scheme calls for water to be diverted through 70 kilometres of underground tunnels and five km of canals to drive turbines and produce electricity. Continue reading

Nile Basin Initiative draws fierce Egyptian and Sudanese criticism

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 28 June 2010

Five East African countries said on Sunday that they would not go back on a deal they signed to share River Nile waters that has drawn fierce criticism from Egypt and Sudan.

After more than a decade of talks driven by anger over the perceived injustice of a previous Nile water treaty signed in 1929, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya signed a deal last month without their northern neighbours.

“The signed (agreement) can’t be unsigned,” Ethiopian minister for water resources, Asfaw Dingamo, told reporters. “But we hope to reach a consensus and I hope to do it very soon.”

The five signatories have given the other Nile Basin countries — Egypt, Sudan, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo — one year to join the pact.

Stretching more than 6,600 km (4,100 miles) from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean, the Nile is a vital water and energy source for the nine countries through which it flows.

Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have not signed the deal yet and have so far been tight-lipped about whether they plan to or not.

The latest meeting of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) ended with open disagreements at a press conference in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday. Continue reading