Ohlthaver & List to build large-scale solar plant in Namibia

Namibia-based industrial group Ohlthaver & List announced it will build a 6.4 MW PV power plant in Tsumeb, in the Oshikoto region of northern Namibia. The company said the contract for the project was issued in the frame of a tender recently held by local utility Central Northern Electricity Distribution Company (CENORED).

The project will be developed by O&L Energy, a joint venture between Ohlthaver & List and German specialist for stainless steel scrap, ferroalloys and primary metal Cronimet Mining Power Solutions GmbH.

Construction of the plant is expected to begin in mid 2017, with completion scheduled by the end of the year. O&L Energy will build the plant as an independent power producer (IPP).

The two companies are currently building another 3 MW PV plant in Arandis, in Nambia’s western region of Erongo. The contract for this project was awarded by local power provider Erongo RED. This project is expected to come online in May of this year.

Namibia currently has two operational ground-mounted solar parks, the 5 MW Otjozondjupa Solar Park and the 4.5 MW Omburu Solar Photovoltaic Park. The first plant was built by Switzerland’s HopSol with First Solar modules in 2016, while the second project was completed in 2015 by Chinese solar company TSMC.

Several other PV projects are also being developed in the country. In February, Namibian utility NamPower awarded the contract to build a 37 MW PV plant to Alten Developments Africa B.V. According to local newspaper The Namibian, the facility will sell its power output to the utility at a price of 0.807 NAM ($0.060)/kWh. The tender for the project, which will be the first solar plant serving NamPower’s grid, was launched in May 2016.

Namibia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) is currently supporting a solar rural electrification program through the Solar Revolving Fund (SRF) and residential PV through net metering.