Namibia: cement plant to start production soon

Namibia: cement plant to start production soon
Published: 08 February 2010

Work on the Ohorongo Cement plant in Nambia is on track with commissioning set for the end of this year .

Prime Minister Nahas Angula  recently spoke of the project as something that would enhance the development of both physical infrastructure and the human capital development .

The German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dirk Niebel, said the Schwenk Group realised what many European companies have not that Africa has many opportunities for investments .

Ohorongo Cement owned by German group, Schwenk, hosted a roof-wetting ceremony yesterday at its plant here.

Managing Director of Ohorongo Cement, Hans-Wilhelm Schutte, said the plant would first have dry runs, starting mid-year, to test the production facilities, ahead of commissioning next year.

Although there are three other cement plants in the pipeline, billed to come on stream in the coming years, Schutte says these do not pose any threat of competition to Ohorongo Cement.

“There have been talks of other cement plants for years. We are not afraid of any competition, in or outside the country,” said Schutte adding that Ohorongo Cement has advantage of being ahead of others and a strong balance sheet.

“There is no doubt in my mind that this plant would stimulate economic growth and accelerate the pace of realising our national development mandate reflected in Vision 2030 and the third National Development Plan,” said the Prime Minister.

Niebel congratulated the Schwenk Group saying the investment, the first largest direct investment by a German company in a long-time, strengthens cooperation between Germany and Namibia.

The cement plant would employ a total of 293 people, with an unspecified number of people to be employed in the ancillary services.

Most of the physical infrastructure is already in place. The plant includes three silos, each with a height of 70 metres and a 7500t storage capacity, as well as 100m cooling tower.

The cement plant would have a production capacity of 700,000tpa of cement. Polysius is constructing the plant, on a turnkey basis.

Ohorongo Cement has signed N$41-million worth of electricity supply with the energy utility, NamPower, while the national transport company, TransNamib is erecting a multi-million-dollar rail siding for the plant.