Moving Towards a Zero Waste to Landfill Namibia

RDF Plant
RDF Plant

The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon. Pohamba Shifeta inaugurated Namibia’s first Refuse Derived Fuel Processing plant at Rent-A-Drum today.

Rent-A-Drum is a Namibian waste management company, whose newest plant was erected after they went into agreement in 2016 with Ohorongo Cement, for the supply and delivery of non-recyclable material to use during the cement manufacturing process.

About 12 000 tons of non-recyclable material collected by Rent-A-Drum annually, will be used at Ohorongo Cement’s plant, along with other alternative fuels to fire the kiln, which is one of the key processes during cement manufacturing. The use of alternative fuels is a common practice in cement factories, although only in Europe. The increasing energy prices, global climate change and multiple other environmental benefits have been motivated the cement industry to invest in alternative fuels since the 1970s. Since its commissioning in 2011 through consumption of wood chips, charcoal fines, and now RDF, Ohorongo Cement has taken the lead in Africa in this department.

Hon. Shifeta applauded the two entities for their initiative to further create much needed employment opportunities, while at the same time ensuring a cleaner and safer environment.

“Your determination will ensure that our ecological process and systems are protected from pollution and contamination by waste. This will also promote the Sustainable Development Goals by ensuring that the current and future generations enjoy a clean natural environment,” said Hon. Shifeta.

The Environment and Tourism Minster said that Namibia has a good legislative framework in place for prudent management of the environment, through Environmental Impact Assessments, Strategic Environmental Assessments and the implementation of the Environmental Management Plans.

“It is therefore imperative that we have to effectively implement and enforce this Act in line with NDPs, Vision 2030 and the Harambee Prosperity Plan as we continue with our economic growth and development. The Act also contains provisions which promote the reduction, re-use and recycling of waste, famously known as the 3Rs,” he said.

Gys Louw, CEO of Rent-A-Drum said: “It is with great appreciation to Ohorongo Cement that the RDF plant became a reality. The RDF can ensure that less waste is sent to landfills, while at the same time creating employment, and has tremendous benefits for the environment.”

Ohorongo Cement aims at replacing up to 80% of the imported coal with alternative fuels by 2019.

With gas temperatures of 2000 Degrees Celsius, the cement manufacturing process guarantees complete combustion and destruction of all organic and inorganic substances, resulting in no emissions, without compromising product quality.

Non-Recyclable materials is the third alternative fuel within Ohorongo Cement’s fuel mix, as the company has been using alternative fuels consisting of encroacher bush and charcoal fines since 2011 and 2015 respectively.

“The usage of alternative fuels was already considered during the planning phases of the plant, and that is why technical equipment including the filtering system have been installed in the plant’s mechanism,” said Hans-Wilhelm Schütte, Managing Director of Ohorongo Cement.

Ohorongo Cement operates one of the most modern cement plants in the world.

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