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Biomass technology demonstration centre proves viability

Biomass technology demonstration centre proves viability

The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) through continued research, demonstration of related technology and training, is turning to a new wave of economic activity within central Namibia centered on biomass.

CCF is coordinating international donors and investors to fund and support the Biomass Technology Demonstration Centre (BTDC). The completed construction of this new facility at its main campus demonstrate the full economic potential of biomass related industries and to research sustainable harvest methods that ultimately restore habitat.

With up to 15 tons per hectare of invasive thorn bush in central Namibia. General Manager at the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Dr. Bruce Brewer said bringing commercial enterprises to the area will have the combined benefits of creating much needed employment, generating electricity, restoring wildlife habitat and improving farmland productivity.

Brewer is responsible for the overall day-to-day running of CCF and the Bushblok project. He said that the centre is researching a wide range of biomass technologies with an emphasis on those that are capable of generating sustained economic enterprises.

According to Brewer, biomass based electricity and solar electricity will both be important sources of energy for rural biomass industry as the centre will investigate how to best implement small grids in rural areas.

Brewer said, initial technology will include manufacturing of briquette logs, charcoal hex logs, lump charcoal for pyrolysis-based electrical generatio, while phase two will include other promising technology such as wood pellet production, alternative chipping power trains, and stirling engines.

The centre will draw on academics, researchers, and engineers to implement, evaluate and validate each technology, determining its suitability for the type of biomass available in the region. As needed, equipment and processes will be customized. Evaluations will also be made on the overall economic potential of specific industries to assure that cost of production is low enough to result in profitable sales of end products.

Over the past decade the Cheetah Conservation has been a leading researcher in the area of thorn bush harvest methods in Namibia. Its Bushblok operation has been certified by the internationally recognized Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Researchers conduct long-term monitoring of harvested areas to provide detailed information on habitat recovery.

“Commercial biomass operations will need large quantities of wood chip delivered at predictable intervals throughout the year, so matching input needs to harvesting equipment, methods and transportation will be vital,” Brewer said.

Meanhile, he added that other forms of renewable energy technologies will also be evaluated at the centre and these will include photo volta

About The Author

Freeman Ngulu

Freeman Ngulu is an Entrepreneur, into data journalism and is an aspiring content marketer. He tweets @hobameteorite.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.