NAMIBIA: Suntrace, selected as technical consultant for Groot Glass’s solar project

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MADAGASCAR: Trysbas Energy will supply 50 MW of solar energy within 5 years©abriendomundo/Shutterstock

The German company Suntrace has recently been selected as a consultant for the 80 MW Tses solar off-grid project. The future facility will supply electricity to several plants owned by Groot Glass, a company based in Windhoek, Namibia's capital.

An off-grid solar grid will be created in Namibia. Called Groot Solar Park, it will be located in Tses, a town in the Karas region of the south of the country. The project in question has been further developed with the choice of the German company Suntrace as a technical consultant. The solar park should consist of 250,000 crystalline silicon modules. All the solar panels will produce 80 MW. The installation will also be equipped with a storage system for the supply of electricity after sunset.

The energy produced will be used to power five plants of Groot Glass, an industrial group based in Windhoek, Namibia. This group wants to set up five production units in Tses. The plants will produce a wide range of glass products for construction, tableware, beverages, and pharmaceuticals. The group also plans to manufacture solar panels, touch screens and equipment for the automotive industry.

A $284 million investment

The products that Groot Glass will manufacture will be destined for the Namibian market, but will also be sold on a regional scale. Groot Solar Park should provide the amount of electricity needed to run all the plants. Groot Glass is even considering selling the surplus production to NamPower, the state-owned company that produces and distributes electricity in Namibia.

“Producing our own electricity for our factories and supplying the rest to our country (Namibia) is a great relief for our Opex (operating expenses), which will allow us to pass on the electricity savings to our job creation opportunities,” explains Elikana Nangolo, Group President and COO of Groot Systems. In order to acquire the 80 MW solar power plant, however, it will still require an investment of N$4.08 billion, or US$284 million. The company, on the other hand, minimises the construction costs that will be amortised through the savings generated during the operating period.

It will still be a little while before we see the realisation of this off-grid solar network. Groot Glass plans to start construction in 2021. The next step will therefore consist in choosing a company to sign the Groot Solar Park Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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