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Diamond miner aquires first-ever electric bus to trim carbon footprint

Diamond miner aquires first-ever electric bus to trim carbon footprint

Diamond miner, Namdeb, acquired the country’s first-ever battery-powered electric 65-seater bus (E-bus), which arrived a fortnight ago and was introduced to Namdeb workers in Oranjemund last week.

The E-bus which was purchased from Chinese bus manufacturer, King Long, aligns with Namdeb’s values of sustainability and their goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

According to Namdeb’s Divisional Engineer Pankratius Kondjamba who has been leading the project, the decision to opt for King Long was based on their responsiveness throughout the process and their ability to deliver a product that meets all requirements.

“Other suppliers (including major suppliers of our current diesel buses like Volvo, Scania, and MAN) were included in the technical feasibility study, and they either did not have a product (E-bus) that meets Namdeb’s safety, technical, and/or operational requirements or the suppliers had no presence in the African market as yet,” he said.

According to Kondjamba, the Namdeb team is currently being trained by King Long’s representatives on-site.

“They will be training Namdeb drivers, mechanics, auto electricians, electricians, supervisors and engineers. Training officers are also being trained to ensure that a train-the-trainer session takes place as a form of skills transfer for future training,” he said.

The commissioning and training will be completed by the end of October after which the E-bus will be operating in Oranjemund Town to transport employees to work until the end of 2023, according to Kondjamba.

“This is to allow the rest of the infrastructures, such as charging stations, to be installed in the supply chain management as well as ensuring easy access by the King Long’s technical support team should there be any unforeseen technical challenges,” he added.

Meanwhile, Namdeb’s Chief Executive Riaan Burger said in a statement that no business can claim to be geared for the future and positively contributing to the world unless it becomes carbon neutral.

“The E-bus is one such opportunity that contributes to creating a carbon-neutral future for Namdeb,” he said.

Burger also said that the introduction of new technology requires new skill sets, as well as an opportunity to build capacity and re-skill drivers and mechanics to enable them to operate and maintain the E-bus.

Namdeb’s Chief Executive, Riaan Burger pictured at the bus entrance of the country’s first-ever battery-electric 65-seater bus


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Musa Carter

Musa Carter is a long-standing freelance contributor to the editorial team and also an active reporter. He gathers and verifies factual information regarding stories through interviews, observation and research. For the digital Economist, he promotes targeted content through various social networking sites such as the Economist facebook page (/Nameconomist/) and Twitter.