Project Company OLC Arandis Solar Energy – a Joint Venture between O&L Energy – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group -, its strategic partner Cronimet Mining Power Solutions GmbH and the Women of Destiny Trust – on Thursday, 24 November officially launched the construction of a 3 megawatt (MW) solar energy power plant at Arandis, that will supply electricity to ErongoRED – leading electricity supplier to the Erongo Region.
Expected to be completed by, and in operation as from June 2017, the ground breaking ceremony was officiated by the Governor of the Erongo Region, Cleophas Mutjavikua who during his keynote address emphasized on the value this project will bring to the table not only for the Erongo Region, but for the nation at large. Mutjavikua: “Today’s activity is evident of the possibilities with great partnerships. Innovation is key to the future of this country’s economy, and breakthrough leadership is critical in driving this nation to higher heights and stronger economic growth – not only for the benefit of the country coffers, but also for that of each and every Namibian. This region, and the country at large is hungry for more growth and development, and there is so much more room for more. Hence, initiatives such as the one we are launching today, is highly valued, welcomed and appreciated – also in light of our journey towards being less dependent on imports, and producing everything we need, right here on Namibian soil. Self-provision of especially basic day-to-day necessities, which also includes electricity supply will make such a huge difference in the future of this nation. And the sooner we get to a place where we are no longer dependent on other suppliers beyond our borders, the faster we will be able to take complete control of where we are headed. This 3 Megawatt solar power plant is a big step in that direction. I look forward to even brighter days and a future embraced with even more innovations.”
O&L Group Executive Chairman, Sven Thieme, during his remarks, highlighted on the projects so far embarked on by O&L in its quest to adopt and adjust to renewable energy, which include O&L Energy’s subsidiary, Organic Energy Solutions harvesting invader bush to produce wood chips which in turn create heat energy for clients such as NBL and Ohorongo Cement; NBL’s investment of N$53 million into a Biomass boiler to reduce reliance on HFO; Mariental Bio Energy which is a partnership between O&L Energy, Namibia Dairies and CAE – and is constructing Namibia’s first Biogas plant in Mariental, and now the new Arandis 3 MW solar power plant, amongst others. Thieme: “We are relentless in our pursuit of creating a sustainable future for all and therefore passionately embrace this wonderful opportunity which also positively contributes to our vision metric of reducing our carbon footprint by 20% in 2019. Our aim is to contribute to improving Namibia’s energy situation and to increase the supply of renewable energy generated locally, decreasing our dependency on electricity imports from neighbouring countries. We are thrilled to have found in CRONIMET Mining Power Solutions, a Namibian partner that shares our vision and enables us to reach our goals by contributing their experience, technical expertise in PV, and their commercial competency when managing the development process.”
For the Mayor of Arandis, Cllr. Risto Kapendah, the Arandis solar power plant is testimony to the potential of the town, and promising of a bright future for the Arandis community. Kapendah: “We are about to witness yet another milestone in the life of this catalystic town of Arandis, as she is about to inject her own power contribution to the main grid through our regional distributor ErongoRed. Thus, Arandis is geared to make her contribution in energizing and giving light and life to our entire nation. Arandis is on the move!”
Tobias Nambala, ErongoRed Chairperson of the Board of Directors presented a project brief on the plant and shed light on what exactly it will mean to ErongoRed and the region at large. Nambala: “This plant is expected to save Erongo RED an estimated cost of N$127 million over the life span of the plant which is 25 years and I must say that this is a significant saving for Erongo RED. All this are part of our proactive efforts to address continuous electricity cost increases and cushioning the impact thereof to our customers. I wish to applaud the OLC Arandis Solar Energy team for their interest in investing in our region in bringing renewable energy to the region. At Erongo RED we are committed to diversify our energy mix in order to ensure that the electricity consumers reap benefits emanating from renewable energy. We are well aware that electricity supply is vital in stimulating and accelerating development. We also know that reliable supply and distribution of electricity remains and will continue to be an important component in boosting the economic development in the region. I am very pleased that we have reached this point where OLC Arandis Solar Energy will start with the construction of the solar plant.”
Mutjavikua ended off by congratulating the partners, O&L Energy & Cronimet combined as OLC Arandis Solar Energy, and the Women of Destiny Trust for embarking on this initiative. Mutjavikua: “I believe this will add immensely and richly to the town of Arandis in particular, the Erongo Region, and the Namibian nation at large. We look forward to even further growth and more innovations once the construction of this plant is completed and running. And I trust this will be the beginning of even greater things coming our way.”
Note to Editor:
O&L Energy and CRONIMET Mining Power Solutions entered into a joint venture in 2015 to develop, own and operate renewable energy IPPs across Namibia. CRONIMET is a leading African PV developer and strategic investor. CRONIMET’s expertise extends along the PV project value chain, from Greenfield land development, to technical planning, IPP funding, EPC contracting and O&M Services. Beyond Namibia, CRONIMET is active throughout Africa, targeting 21 countries together with the KfW/DEG, to develop PV power plants and PPAs with public and private sectors. CRONIMET operates subsidiaries in Namibia, South Africa and Botswana and forward offices in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. For the Arandis project, CRONIMET’s Namibian subsidiary will provide turnkey EPC services. As in every country it operates, CRONIMET seeks to maximize local services value chain by train and subcontracting domestically. CRONIMET and its local subs will mount over ten thousand poly-crystalline photovoltaic (PV) panels to a horizontal single axis tracking system for a total capacity of 3.843 MW. The Arandis PV power plant will produce over 9,000 MW hours of emission free electricity for Erongo RED per year. It will be connected to ERONGO Red’s transmission station and will supply the coastal region with 25 years of electricity generated from the sun.
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