Ohorongo gets energized

On 21 July, Ohorongo Cement finally shut down the temporary NamPower electricity supply to switch over to the 132kV permanent NamPower power supply that will provide the plant and all connected operations on Sargberg with electricity. Together with the NamPower team the Ohorongo engineers ensured a smooth switch over.

Under full load, Ohorongo requires about 18 MW (MegaWatts) of electricity, roughly double the requirements of Tsumeb Customs Smelters. The biggest consumers of electricity at Ohorongo Cement are the cement mills, using about 8 MW and the burning, crushing and grinding of raw material, overall consuming about 7.8MW.

Before the switch-over, Ohorongo Cement used a temporary electricity supply based on 11kV. According to engineer Manfred Pirker from Ohorongo Cement, the switchover to 132kV electricity supply is necessary before actual plant operations commence and especially since Ohorongo Cement starts commissioning as from end of August. “Section by section we will test and commission the plant. This time is critical for us, not only because
from now on we will need significantly more electricity, but also because during commissioning we do not want to risk unforeseen problems with the power supply. We therefore did the entire switchover now already.”

Pirker further states that quite extensive planning and co-ordinating was required before the switchover. “The goal was to lose as little time as possible through the necessary power cut. A longer interruption of the works on a construction site with the magnitude of Ohorongo’s is simply not acceptable. The excellent co-operation with NamPower meant that there was only a 7 hour period when the power had to be cut off – a period Ohorongo
Cement could easily bridge with the standby generator,” said Pirker. No complications occurred during the switchover and the 132kV high voltage power supply is running smoothly and without any interruptions.

NamPower explained that the overhead power line is linked to the Otjikoto Substation and was constructed especially for Ohorongo Cement.

Ohorongo Cement is now closing in on the finish line, with most construction works receiving the finishing touches and commissioning to start soon. The very proud team of dedicated Ohorongo staff look forward to the opening of the plant in the beginning of 2011.

Ohorongo’s operations will bring welcome relief to the local unemployed Namibians, through direct recruitment, as well as providing business opportunities and consequently employment creation opportunities for SME’s in the region as a result of Ohorongo Cement’s operations.

After completion, the Ohorongo Cement plant will be the most modern cement plant in Africa, with the highest standards in terms of environment, safety and quality. Since biomass will be used to burn the clinker, the Ohorongo plant will also be one of the world’s plants with the lowest CO2 emissions

Share the Post: