CCF benefits from locally produced nitrogen
Following the recent commissioning of Namibia’s first Air Separation Unit in Tsumeb, Air Liquide Namibia and Namibia Custom Smelters (NCS) are for the first time sponsoring the supply of locally produced liquid nitrogen to the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) for cryogenic preservation of the genetic diversity of the cheetah.
Last year Air Liquide commissioned the Air Separation Unit to produce gaseous oxygen primarily for use by NCS in their smelter process. The unit also has the ability to produce other related products.
Air Liquide director of southern African subsidiaries, Jonathan Madden explains: “This technology allows us to transform air into the two main components namely oxygen and nitrogen, each in either its warm gaseous phase, or as a cryogenic liquid with a temperature less than minus 180 degrees centigrade.
“Our investment started with the gaseous oxygen supply for NCS, but we have a long-term strategy to develop our portfolio further with world-class services and standards related to our other products for mining, industrial and medical needs of the country.”
Until recently, the Cheetah Conservation Fund has been reliant on liquid nitrogen procured from South Africa. Not only was this done at significant expense, but CCF was also concerned about risk of supply interruption.
An interruption of liquid nitrogen supply could be detrimental to the preservation of the unique sample collection at CCF, including sperm samples from wild and captive cheetahs to ensure the preservation of the already low genetic variation. CCF also uses the liquid nitrogen to treat specific skin problems using cryotherapy.