The N$50 million Namibia Breweries Ltd biomass boiler is expected to reduce the company’s carbon footprints by at least 40%. Aside from the benefits to the environments, the biomass boiler will also reduce operating costs by N$10 million annually. The boiler which is a first for Namibia is part of NBL’s contribution to the O&L Group’s goal of reducing carbon footprints by 20% by the year 2019.
The previous boiler used by the company consumes at least 3,600 tonnes of heavy fuel oil with 7,500 tonnes of wood chips. The biomass boiler aims to replace at least 80% of the consumption. Carbon dioxide emissions will also be reduced by at least 8,000 tonnes per year. The wood chips that are used to generate power heat for the NBL operations come from a current bush-thinning project that involves harvesting invader bush which is then processed into wood chips for utilization as fuel in the biomass boiler.
The bush-thinning project is a feasible solution to the bush encroachment problem that negatively impacts on the agricultural activities of the country. Bush encroachment also has a negative impact on environment and agricultural production because it suppresses the growth of grass in the grazing areas thus reducing its capacity for livestock. In worst case scenarios, bush encroachment makes large areas of land totally unusable. Bush-thinning has substantially reduced the negative impact of the invader bush. The encroaching bush has turned into an energy resource for the biomass boiler. Instead of importing fossil fuels, heat requirements are generated through local bush fuel.
The biomass boiler is an innovation that reflects on the breakthrough leadership of O&L Group. The milestone brings the company closer to realizing its vision of successful national sustainability for the future of Namibia. O&L Group including its subsidiaries NBL and O&L Energy has certainly led by example.
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