Tuesday 11 May 2021
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O&L: Turning problems into opportunities


The Minister of Agriculture, Water & Forestry (MAWF) John Mutorwa this week visited the Teufelsbach farm on invitation of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group’s subsidiaries, Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) and Organic Energy Solutions.  The Minister was introduced to O&L Energy’s latest innovation that converts invader bush to energy. In light of its vision metric of reducing its carbon footprint by 20 percent by the year 2019, the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group through its subsidiary O&L Energy officially introduced its bush-thinning project which will not only eventually replace 80 percent of the current 3600 tons of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) used by Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – at its operating plant in Windhoek, but will also benefit the country’s agricultural sector at large.
Mutorwa and the Director of Forestry, Joseph Hailwa, witnessed the process of bush-thinning – from the harvesting to the chipping of unwanted bushes in the area. This project conducted and managed by Organic Energy Solutions – a unit of O&L Energy – will see the problematic bush encroachment removed for the generation of energy. Organic Energy Solutions Director, Eike Krafft said: “Bush encroachment is a huge problem in Namibia, with about 30 million hectares of land invaded by unwanted bush. This makes it difficult for animal feed to grow, for cattle movement, and ultimately diverts into a big problem for local farmers.
However, on the flip side, this largely unwanted bush represents an energy source that is not utilized in Namibia. So basically we are turning a problem into an opportunity, and in turn finding energy solutions for the country. We take the bush and turn it into something usable and produce industrial products.”
NBL Managing Director, Wessie van der Westhuizen: “I am very impressed with what I see here. A job well done to the team of O&L Energy and Organic Energy Solutions. This is breakthrough – an opportunity that will benefit not only NBL, but the whole country at large. It also falls perfectly in line with the O&L Group purpose of ‘Creating a future, Enhancing life’ for all Namibians. And because of that, it is our responsibility to make this work. The bio-mass boiler which we currently purchase the woodchips for is significant in that it is a first for Namibia; it reduces NBL’s carbon footprint, and takes Namibia a step closer towards the provision of sustainable energy solutions.
The acquiring of the boiler is in line with O&L’s strategy to move towards renewable energy and to continue to find solutions that are more environmentally friendly and enhance sustainability.”
During his statement, Mutorwa underscored the importance of public-private-partnerships, and commended O&L and O&L Energy in specific, for the breakthrough initiative of the bush-to-energy project.“On behalf of government I would like to congratulate O&L and its subsidiaries O&L Energy and NBL on this wonderful initiative. Namibia has a lot of breakthrough opportunities when it comes to especially energy generation. Whatever it is we can do, we must do, in order to ensure that this country moves forward and not backwards. I am excited about what is happening here. This project is a perfect example of the level of thinking, combined with private-public-partnerships that will take us forward,” he said.

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