Namibia’s minister of mines and energy, Tom Alweendo, highlighted the need for the government and private sector to collaborate in order to address socio-economic development challenges.
The announced was made during the launch of the B2Gold Otjiko Solar Farm in the Otjozondjupa region last week Tuesday.
Not only does the B2Gold solar plant serve as a sustainable power solution, it will also serve as a means of improving economic returns, reduce impacts on the environment, and could potentially be a funding source for community development.
It was reported that last year B2Gold signed a memorandum of understanding with Total Namibia, which will commit two cents of every litre of heavy fuel oil (HFO) sold to B2Gold Namibia to the Namibian Chamber of Environment.
According to the minister, the region saves an estimated 20% on the consumption of HFO, reducing both costs and harmful greenhouse gas emissions. As illustrated by this example, it can be argued that B2Gold is setting the mining industry standards for sustainable approaches to livelihood development, health, conservation and education.
“The expected saving on the consumption of HFO is in the region of 20%. This will not only reduce costs, but will also significantly reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions into our pristine skies,” he noted.
“This clearly shows that B2Gold is setting the mining industry standards for sustainable approaches to livelihood development, health, conservation and education,” the minister said.
These developments bode well for Namibia’s 5th National Development Plan (NDP5) and the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
The generation of modern, clean, environmentally sustainable and affordable energy is in accordance with both the aforementioned plans and form part of the country’s socio-economic development agenda.
Minister Alweendo has also noted that limiting the import of electricity is a priority.
By Daniëlle Kruger
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