Ohorongo Cement has held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a 5MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant which will provide green and clean electricity to the company’s cement plant in Namibia. The close to NAD100m (US$7.8m) investment is expected to be in operation by the end of 2017, and will be located in close proximity to the Sargberg cement plant in Otavi. SunEQ four Investment, an independent power producer and solar asset development platform, in collaboration with its Namibian partner, Hungileni CC, will develop, construct and own the solar PV plant.
“Electricity is of paramount importance to our operations and constitutes 25 per cent of our production requirements. We are aware of the country’s precarious energy situation and hence took the decision to tap into the renewable energy resource which our country is endowed with. With this, Ohorongo will further contribute towards Namibia’s efforts to reduce electricity imports, and to reduce CO² emissions generated from using fossil fuels,” said Hans-Wilhelm Schütte, Ohorongo Cement’s managing director.
The energy source will assist Ohorongo Cement to significantly reduce its electricity expenses and running costs.
Ohorongo has signed a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement with SunEQ four Investment. This will make Ohorongo Cement one of the first industries in Namibia to utilise solar power for industrial usage within its operation. “The use of solar energy in Ohorongo’s operations will contribute positively towards reducing the current levels of greenhouse gas emissions. This will also assist the government to increase the share of renewable energy in electricity production to 70 per cent of our consumption by the year 2030 as per our commitment towards our Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC),” said Theofilus Nghitila, Namibia’s Environmental Commissioner.
Construction of this plant shall commence once SunEQ four Investment has obtained the generation licence from the Electricity Control Board.