Lüderitz – Renovations and upgrades to the Lüderitz old power station, which forms part of the town’s second phase waterfront development project, have been delayed due to financial constraints.
The second phase was initially set for completion in April 2014.
The original project cost in 2011 was N$237 million, but new estimates show the cost stands at N$370 million, with a new completion deadline of December 2022. This represents a N$133 million increase in the overall project cost. The Lüderitz Waterfront Development Company (LWDC) and government are jointly funding the project, with relevant ministries making the largest financial contribution.
The old power station is a large heritage building located on the shore in Lüderitz that was erected in 1911 during the German colonial era.
The building was created primarily to provide power to the then flourishing town of Kolmanskop and Elizabeth Bay during the diamond rush.
LWDC identified the potential to integrate the building into its waterfront development.
The development received support from the Cabinet in 2010. Construction works of the redevelopment of the old power station commenced in earnest in 2013.
The development module aims to turn the building into an attractive waterfront space.
Minister of public enterprises Leon Jooste visited LWDC in Lüderitz to see the progress of the project.
Quantity surveyors for the project Richard Frankle stated there is N$70 million loss of potential income due to incomplete facilities from the project.
Frankle outlined factors influencing the rise in costs as lack of timeous government funding, standing time of contractor due to limited finances available, demobilisation and remobilisation of contractor, deterioration of building components due to standing time, escalation and inflation rate, exchange rate fluctuations, Covid-19 disruptions, and transportation cost increases.
“There is about N$121 million outstanding from the ministries that partnered for the development project, which are the ministry of higher education, sport and youth, fisheries, and arts and culture,” he added.
The second phase of the Lüderitz waterfront is fundamental for achieving business growth and the creation of additional business opportunities and employment within the town of Lüderitz, in particular, and //Kharas region, in general.
At the same occasion, LWDC CEO Fluksman Samuehl said the Lüderitz waterfront expansion programmes will go a long way in transforming the Lüderitz harbour town – not only as a vibrant student town but a leading commercial centre in southern Namibia with enhanced tourism appeal over the next few years. “With the operation of the satellite campus of the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to engage in the running of the other facilities, such as the gym, swimming pool, restaurants, coffee-shop, lounge,” he said.
There will also be operations of the auditorium/cinema and other multi-purpose facilities that may also require private sector participation, a world-class maritime museum that is earmarked to draw for tourism and promote activities related to fishing, trade and mining at sea, and investment potential.
The town will be at the potential to host national events. Jooste assured he will take up the matter with Cabinet and ensure there is acceleration for the project completion.
“This is a big project for the country, and it speaks louder to many governmental policy objectives. There is no need to keep on delaying the project because the more we delay, the more it becomes costly. I recommend a centralised funding system in order to tackle the issue of delayed funding from different ministries,” said Jooste. - email@example.com