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Metallurgists offer Ohorongo an energy solution that may reduce coal usage by 80%

Metallurgists offer Ohorongo an energy solution that may reduce coal usage by 80%

When Petrus Elago (left) met Tobias Konzmann earlier this week, it was to finalise the paperwork on a groundbreaking deal that will see Ohorongo Cement use processed second-hand tyres as another alternative fuel to fire its kilns.

As Ohorongo’s Business Development Manager, Konzmann is also responsible for improved efficiencies which led him to consider various options for gradually changing the cement manufacturer’s energy mix.

This is where Elago of Metallurgical Research and Consulting stepped into the picture. Knowing that several cement factories in Europe successfully burn processed tyres as part of the fuel mix to fire their kilns, he approached Ohorongo to see if they would consider tyre fuel as a partial replacement for coal. Ohorongo already uses charcoal and compacted refuse as alternative fuels although these replace only a fraction of the coal required.

Their immediate goal is to replace 80% of their coal with a mix of alternative fuels in only two years from now. They were therefore very receptive to the metallurgical engineers’ proposal of investigating the suitability of fuel derived from processed tyres as a substitute for coal.

From a technical perspective, Ohorongo said their Sargberg plant is already equipped to burn tyre fuel as it has been designed and constructed to comply with European emission standards. If the tyre fuel proves effective, Ohorongo will reduce its environmental footprint substantially. Kiln fires typically burn at 2000° C, a heat at which the combustion process completely obliterates the chemicals in the tyres. Furthermore, Ohorongo’s smokestack filters are designed to filter out minuscule particles to ensure the least possible release of suspended solids into the atmosphere.

Per the agreement, Metallurgical Research and Consulting undertook to collect scrap tyres, shred them and ensure that the pellets are in a combustible format.

Naming local pollution as a major consideration, Elago said, after they have investigated the feasibility of tyre fuel, they engaged Ohorongo Cement as a potential offtaker for granular fuel. Ohorongo readily agreed.

“With gas temperatures of up to 2000 degrees Celsius, the cement manufacturing process guarantees a complete combustion and destruction of all toxic substances resulting in no harmful emission and will not compromise the product quality,” said Hans-Wilhelm Schütte, the Managing Director of Ohorongo Cement.

The use of tyre fuel has multiple benefits like less discarded tyres at landfills or in river beds, job creation in the new business, reduced carbon dioxide emissions at the factory, coal import substitution and local value added to a waste product which previously could only be used to stabilise embankments or make fodder troughs.



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


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.