Erongo economy gets N$200 million boost from Green Charcoal factory in Arandis
By Adolf Kaure.
The inauguration of the Green Charcoal Namibia factory in Arandis will lead to 50 full-time jobs and N$200 million being injected into the local economy.
The factory, which was inaugurated by the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Hon Christine //Hoebes on Monday, will also contribute an additional 850 indirect jobs as a projected 30,000 tons of charcoal is foreseen to be packaged by 2024.
“The inception of this project represents a clear and resolute commitment to environmental conservation, clean energy, and the well-being of our communities. It embodies the spirit of Namibia’s determination to embrace innovation and lead in the pursuit of a greener, more sustainable future,” said //Hoebes.
The factory occupies 4000 square meters of covered space. On either side of the building, the charcoal processing begins with two screening lines that sort the charcoal by size. The smaller charcoal pieces are used to manufacture briquettes.
The Green Charcoal Namibia factory will produce 8000 tons of manufactured briquettes and export 40 containers per week.
“The production of green charcoal is not just an industrial process; it is a testament to our commitment to responsible resource management and a sustainable future.” “Green charcoal is a cleaner, more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional charcoal production methods.”
“By producing it, we aim to reduce carbon emissions, preserve our precious forests, and significantly lower the environmental impact of energy consumption,” she said.
The benefits of green charcoal are multifaceted. This includes combatting climate change, reducing deforestation, which in turn, mitigates soil erosion and helps to protect fragile ecosystems.
By enabling a transition to cleaner energy sources, it improve air quality and the health of the people. This project has the potential to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and uplift the communities of Arandis and beyond.
The Erongo Governor, Hon Neville André expressed his gratitude to the government and the local leadership for their foresight to relentlessly look for opportunities to diversify and unlock the local economy.
“I would equally want to express my gratitude to the investors for having selected Arandis as the ideal town for their investment and to utilize green and eco-friendly mechanisms in the production of the charcoal.”
“My appreciation also goes to the Namibian Government for having created a favourable investment environment and attracting the necessary foreign direct investment to our country, but most importantly government efforts and initiatives to grow our local economies and the manufacturing industry,” said André through a statement read on his behalf by Chief Regional Officer of the Erongo Regional Council, Benitha Imbamba.
Green Charcoal Namibia is a N$60 million investment from European company Carbobois, a subsidiary of TOLEFI.
“Over the past century, Namibia has tackled a pervasive bush encroachment phenomenon, covering up to 45 million hectares of its land, causing detrimental effects on its ecosystem.”
“Namibian farmers recognized the potential of using this encroaching bush to produce sustainable charcoal, which soon found a promising market in Europe.”
“Given Namibia’s political stability and openness to international investors, Carbobois seized the opportunity to establish a branch in Namibia, marking the birth of Green Charcoal Namibia,” said the Managing Director of Green Charcoal Namibia, Jean-Daniel Goblet.
The Construction of the Green Charcoal Namibia factory started in May 2022, after Carbobois entered into discussions with the Arandis Municipality and the Erongo Regional Council
BACKGROUND OF CARBOBOIS
Carbobois is a prominent charcoal distributor in Europe since 1982.
With a robust distribution network spanning Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and other European nations, Carbobois successfully distributed over 48,000 tons of charcoal products in 2022, equivalent to 2400 containers.
Previously, Carbobois primarily sourced its charcoal from Nigeria and the Ukraine. However, in 2019, they made a pivotal decision to procure significant quantities from Namibia.
Minister of Presidential Affairs, Hon Christine //Hoebes (left) inaugurates the Green Charcoal Namibia production facility in the presence of Jean-Daniel Goblet (second from left) of Green Charcoal Namibia, Chairperson of the Erongo Regional Council Benitha Imbamba (second from right) and Arandis Mayor Risto Kapendah (right). (Photograph by Adolf Kaure)