Construction groundworks start for Erongo Desalination Plant’s solar project
By Adolf Kaure.
The 5 MW solar plant developed for Orano Mining Namibia, envisaged to supply part of the power required for the Erongo Desalination Plant (EDP), reached an important milestone when groundworks at the Trekkopje site recently commenced.
According to Orano’s communications consultant Christine Visser-de Klerk, the plant is constructed under a ten-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with InnoSun Energy Holdings, known as Phase 1 of the Sorexa project.
“The agreement includes the establishment of a 5 MW solar plant at the Trekkopje Site just north east of Arandis, from where power will be supplied to the EDP, situated at the coast 35 km north of Swakopmund,” said Visser-de Klerk in a press statement.
Under the agreement, InnoSun Energy Holdings will design, construct, own and operate the solar plant.
“Construction has now commenced and the plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2024,” she said.
Currently, site fencing, earthworks, trenching and foundations for the switching and metering substation building are well underway.
REDUCING CARBON FOOTPRINT
This will enable Orano to make the provision of water to the Erongo Region from a green electricity source more affordable in the long term, and contribute greatly to efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the EDP.
Once commissioned, it is expected to reduce energy costs of the desalination process, and lower annual greenhouse gas emissions by 30% which is equivalent to 9722 tons of Carbon Dioxide.
This project is part of the Orano group policy to lower its carbon footprint and increase the share of low-carbon electricity at its operating sites worldwide.
ERONGO DESALINATION PLANT
The Erongo Desalination Plant is developed and fully owned by Orano Mining Namibia and operated by Nafasi Water. Originally built by Orano to supply water to its Trekkopje Mine near Arandis, the EDP is now an important contributor to the overall supply of potable water managed by NamWater. The plant provides a significant portion of the local drinking water of Swakopmund as well as the nearby uranium mines and other industries.
Located 35 kilometres north of Swakopmund, near the settlement of Wlotzkasbaken in the Namib Desert, it is the largest reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant in Southern Africa.
The current plant capacity is 20 million cubic meters per annum which can be upgraded to 25 million cubic meters per annum within the existing buildings.
Orano employees at the Erongo Desalination Plant’s solar project site. Groundworks for the 5 mW solar plant started recently.