International companies show interest in local energy market
The Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon. Kornelia Shilunga, represented the country at the ended German-African Energy Forum in Hamburg from 25- 26 April.
The event took place under the theme “Energy for Industry” and attracted 400 participants from all over the world, including eleven African Ministers and Deputy Ministers.
During a high-level panel discussion, the Hon. Shilunga highlighted Namibia’s drive to find an appropriate mix of conventional and renewable energy sources and described Government’s commitment to increase the domestic energy generation capacity, accelerate rural electrification and electrify all schools and hospitals by 2020.
A country session on Namibia enabled the Deputy Minister to inform potential investors about the latest developments in the local energy sector and present current business opportunities and investment projects.
The Energy Forum confirmed the high level of interest that international companies and institutions have in the Namibian energy market.
According to the Hon. Shilunga, “Namibia needs to work together with international investors, financial institutions and development partners in order to mobilize capital and implement projects in the energy sector. That is why I was particularly pleased to hold individual meetings and discuss cooperation possibilities with senior executives of important players such as the KfW Development Bank, Voith Hydro, Andritz Hydro, Siemens, STEAG, ABB, AEE Power and Pfisterer.”
For the first time, a local project was part of the Energy Forum’s Innovation Pitch session which gives German and African start-ups the opportunity to present their innovative solutions to potential investors and business partners.
Michael Frühbis from Berlin and Omwene Hatwikulipi from Windhoek are working together in order to introduce green logistics solutions to Namibia, beginning with a gastronomic e-bike business. Such a venture will deliver fresh food to customers in Windhoek in an environmentally friendly manner and thus promote carbon-free transportation in an urban centre. In the long term, the aim will be to manufacture e-bikes in Namibia and contribute to the growth of cargo-bike logistics in the country and the region.
According to Dr. Mekondjo Kaapanda-Girnus, Commercial Counsellor at the Namibian Embassy in Berlin, “in addition to creating new jobs, a shift to eco-friendly cargo bikes means less energy consumption and CO2 emissions and a reduction in congestion, noise levels and pollution. In the US and Europe, top logistic companies like UPS and Amazon are already utilising this mode of transport for so-called last-mile deliveries and it will be interesting to see whether Namibian companies will follow and explore how e-bikes can contribute to technological and environmental innovation in our transportation system.”
(Photograph by © Fabian Hammerl).