Windhoek — In its drive to continue supporting government initiatives, as well as the trade ministry's Growth at Home policy, Ohorongo Cement recently partnered with local entrepreneur, Carbo Namibia, which is a Namibian manufacturer and exporter of charcoal products.
Carbo Namibia is the biggest and one of eight charcoal suppliers to Ohorongo Cement, therefore the decision by Ohorongo to assist Carbo in the procurement of an 80 cubic metre side tipper to the value of approximately N$700 000.
The side tipper is meant to ensure timeous delivery of higher volumes of charcoal to Ohorongo at reduced cost.
According to a media statement, Ohorongo Cement is always looking for innovative energy saving initiatives to minimise its carbon footprint, while supporting local entrepreneurs. Ohorongo initially approached local charcoal producers within the Otjozondjupa region to procure charcoal fines to utilise as alternative fuel. The fines are used in the production of cement, to fire the Ohorongo kiln, which burns at temperatures exceeding 1 500 degrees Celsius.
Prior to Ohorongo procuring the fines from the producers, it was essentially a waste product to them, as it was not viable for export purposes at the time, leaving them with huge unsightly heaps on site. Through their supply agreement with Ohorongo, local charcoal suppliers can now get rid of a 'waste product', while creating employment and additional income. At the same time, the quantities of coal imported as fuel is reduced and less local currency is spent on foreign markets.
Carbo Namibia is a local, registered company situated in Grootfontein, which started operating on a small scale in 2005, and has since grown to a multi-functioning manufacturing plant through practical partnerships similar to the one with Ohorongo Cement.
The partnership between the two entities started in 2016, through the Ohorongo Energy for Future (EFF) project, with an initial supply of 786 tons of charcoal fines per annum, and has since grown to 5000 tons in 2018, with a total of 11 000 tons to date.
Ohorongo Cement operates one of the most environmentally friendly plants in the world, with minimum air, water and noise pollution, and is also ISO 14001 certified. In line with Ohorongo's commitment to a sustainable future, the replacement of traditional fuels with alternative fuels such as wood chips, refuse derived fuel (RDF) and charcoal fines, is part of the company's corporate strategy and is pursued continuously.
Currently Ohorongo uses 58 percent wood chips, 28 percent RDF and 14 percent charcoal, with the total percentage alternative fuel usage to date being 42.7 percent, with a target of 56 percent by 2020 and a long-term target of 80 percent.
The procurement of the side tipper is expected to ensure the transport of larger quantities per load, reducing the total carbon footprint. It also results in less trucks on national roads, which assists in reducing vehicle accidents, another important aspect for Ohorongo.
Ohorongo Cement regards the procurement of the side tipper as a shared investment ensuring a mutually productive and valuable partnership.