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Ohorongo Cement in clean energy drive

In an effort to relieve the pressure on the national electricity grid, Ohorongo Cement, one of the biggest electricity consumers in the country has this been striving this year to cut down on its electricity needs.
Hans-Wilhelm Schütte, the Managing Director of Ohorongo recently gave an insight and update of the company for the year as well as the company’s strategic direction. During his presentation, one of the highlights for the year was the shift to alternative fuels for production.
According to Schütte since 22% of production costs are electricity, the firm saw the need to utilise wood chips as an alternative fuel source. He said that they have been utilizing wood chips derived from encroacher bushes which they started in 2011, but completely outsourced since July 2015. He said that the energy derived from the wood chips benefits both the farmers as well as the environment.
Schütte said this year the company also started to utilize waste stream from charcoal production. According to him they get around 1000tpm and the waste from charcoal which has the same heat Calorific Value as coal. “We do not have to be importing a lot of coal, which we have to get in bulk. The alternative has the same heat produced by coal,” he said.
Furthermore, he said that the company, also did tests on energy derived from refuse. According to Schütte, Ohorongo has an agreement in place with Rent-a-drum, where by they will be able to derive fuel from the recycled material. “The agreement will see us take up 500 tonnes a month of refuse, a continuous supply as from 2017,” he said, adding that the concept is a win win situation for both companies as there will be a relief for landfills.
Schütte added that since the production at the firm has a total installed capacity of approximately 16MW and the main process requires 24/7 availability of electricity, the company has also embarked on the construction of a 5MW PV Solar Plant, which he said hopefully by 2017 will be utilised by the firm.
“An EIA process is ongoing and the approval process with ECB (Generation License) and NamPower(Embedded Generation License) started and the planned commissioning is end of 2017,” he added.
Meanwhile, the N$ 150 million Tsumeb plant, which has additional capacity and will be able to produce different types of cement will be commissioned on 30 November according to Schütte.

About The Author

Musa Carter

Musa Carter is a long-standing freelance contributor to the editorial team and also an active reporter. He gathers and verifies factual information regarding stories through interviews, observation and research. For the digital Economist, he promotes targeted content through various social networking sites such as the Economist facebook page (/Nameconomist/) and Twitter.