120 MW for Arandis, again
Arandis Power (Pty) Ltd is surging foward with plans to construct a 120 Megawatt (MW) thermal power generation Plant and one for waste oil recycling.
These plans gained momentum after the company received environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in April last year.
A press conference is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 23 April 2014 to explain the signficance of the project and related implications, Johny Ashipala of Natura-Energy confirmed to the Economist telephonically. Natura-Energy is the holding company of Arandis Power.
A need to amend the Environmental Impact Assesment has arisen following plans to add the waste oil recycling plant as well as the fact that the proposed location of the transmission substation has moved. Plans are afoot to submit an amended application according to Werner Petrick, an Environmental Assesment Practioner and manager of SLR Environmental Consulting Namibia.
The proposed Arandis power plant will consist of a hybrid solar, waste oil, installation.
The solar power plant at maximum 54 Megawatt peak (MWp) is expected to cover an area of approximately 142 hectares, including internal roads, and site facilities. An additional 18 ha of land will be required for the laydown area during construction. The solar panels will measure 1956 milimetres (mm) by 992 mm each. The panels will stand approximately 3.5 metres off the ground, and 11 metres apart Petrick stated. For the intended 54 MW installed peak capacity, some 183,960 panels will be required. Preparations for construction include grading and levelling of the terrain.
According to Petrick, the approved Arandis thermal power generation and waste oil recycling plants will connect to the national grid via an in-out 220 Kilovolts (kV) substation adjacent to the Arandis power station. The transmission infrastructure formed part of another Environmental Assesment conducted by NamPower and approved in July 2013 which included the substation and overhead power lines.
The waste oil recycling plant is expected to form a fundamental component of the Arandis power generation plant. Recycled waste oil will be used as an alternative cost-effective fuel for the plant, with a large volume of the waste oil expected to be sourced from ocean vessels. The recycling plant is expected to be used as a repository for waste oil as it establishes itself over time. The plant will have an initial capacity of 60,000 tonnes of wet waste oil per year with the potential for future expansion.
Natura-Energy, the company responsible for the project, has set up similar plants in over 30 countries, amongst others, Senegal, Cape Verde, Kenya, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco and the United Kingdom.