Johannesburg - Namibian power utility NamPower is soliciting bids for the construction of a much-delayed 800 MW Kudu gas-to-power plant, an advert in South Africa's Business Day showed on Friday.

The Kudu project near Oranjemund in south-western Namibia involves pumping gas from the Kudu field about 170 km (100 miles) offshore to a combined cycle gas power plant.

The power plant will be connected to the Namibian and South African electricity grids for local and regional use, the state-owned utility added.

“The engineering, procurement and construction turnkey contractor for the Kudu Power Project shall be selected through a competitive bid process,” it said in the advert.

NamPower said the closing date to be pre-qualified for the tender is May 3.

It expects to select a contractor in the last quarter of this year.

The company also said it had signed a project development deal with the upstream developers of the Kudu gas field last month, expecting to achieve financial close within the next 12 months.

NamPower has been working on a number of projects to boost supply of electricity in Namibia, one of the world's top uranium producers, but most have been delayed due to financing problems and disputes over contracts.

Southern Africa has abundant energy sources such as coal, hydro, gas, solar and wind, but many of those have yet to be developed to feed fast-rising demand for electricity from industry and ordinary citizens. - Reuters