Namibian power utility NamPower plans to build three new plants, its managing director said on Friday, to boost electricity security in the southwest African country.

Namibia is a net importer of electricity with an installed capacity of 513.5 megawatts. The country is home to the Kudu Gas Fields, which have proven and probable recoverable reserves estimated at more than 3.3 trillion cubic feet.

NamPower Managing Director Simson Haulofu told Reuters in an interview that tenders will soon go out for a 40MW biomass-fuelled power plant in the central area of Otjiwarongo and another 20MW power plant around the Otavi area.

A third 150 MW Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant will be built in the Arandis area near the coastal town of Swakopmund.

«We are hard at work progressing projects which we are going to tender around September this year,» Haulofu said. «We should put one plant that is 40MW immediately, and then another one, which is 20 MW, will be built through a Public Private Partnership.»

He said NamPower will take up 51 percent stakes in the power plants and farm out 49 percent to interested investors, including contractors and financial institutions.

The power utility said it will likely finance its 51 percent stakes through a combination of its own cash reserves and via debt.

«We will put 30 percent cash into our 51 percent ownership, and the other 70 we can go to financial institutions. We are also likely to put up bonds onto the market,» Haulofu said.

Construction of the CSP power plant will take up to 3 and a half years, while no timelines were given for the completion of the biomass power plants.