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Dedicated solar PV plant to reduce operating costs at Ohorongo

Dedicated solar PV plant to reduce operating costs at Ohorongo

A part of the electricity used by Ohorongo’s cement factory will be supplied from a 5 MW solar PV plant on the cement producer’s land at its farm Sargberg in the Otavi district. This energy source will assist Ohorongo Cement to significantly reduce its electricity expenses and running costs.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place this week Monday. The solar PV plant will be constructed by SunEQ four Investments in collaboration with its Namibian partner, Hungileni CC. The N$100 million plant, in close proximity to the cement factory, is planned to be in operation by the end of this year.

“Electricity is of paramount importance to our operations and constitutes 25% 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 to 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.

“We are excited about these developments, as at Ohorongo we believe in the utilization of local human capital, the sharing of knowledge and the transfer of skills,” he said.

Ohorongo has signed a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement with SunEQ making Ohorongo one of the first local industries to utilize solar power in an industrial application.

After the groundbreaking ceremony, Ohorongo stated that it hopes to boost the uptake of renewable energy to help address concerns of supply security.

“The use of solar energy in Ohorongo’s operations will contribute positively to reduce 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% of our consumption by the year 2030 as per our commitment to our Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” said Theofilus Nghitila, Namibia’s Environmental Commissioner.

Construction of this plant will begin as soon as SunEQ four Investment has obtained the generation licence from the Electricity Control Board.

SunEQ four Investment and Hungileni CC have teamed up as a consortium to realize this exiting project. “If everything goes well, there is no reason why we should not repeat the success and equip other industrial and public off takers with solar power”, said Johanna Shuungula, of Hungileni CC.

SunEQ GmbH was established in 2015 as a solar asset development platform and is a sister company to Suntrace GmbH, which was founded in Hamburg in 2009.

In the picture are, from the left, Matthias Schwara of SunEQ four Investment, Councillor Merlyn Steyn of Otavi Town Council, Hans-Wilhelm Schütte, Ohorongo Cement’s Managing Director, Johanna Shuungula, of Hungileni CC and Theofilus Nghitila, the Namibian Environmental Commissioner.

About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.