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Firing of the rotary kiln

This milestone heralds the beginning of the cement production process and Namibia’s independence from cement imports. In a record time of 22 months the investment in excess of 2.5 billion N$ by Schwenk Zement KG to construct Africa’s most modern cement plant was brought to success ahead of schedule and, according to Ohorongo management, the first cement may be expected early in 2011. The commissioning of the kiln is only the last step in a long line of achievements, starting with the groundbreaking in February 2009, the first blasting at the Ohorongo quarry in March 2010 and the arrival of the first 40 000 tons of coal on site to fuel the kiln. The plant will use a total of 70 000 tons of coal during the first 12 months after which it will start looking at environmentally friendly alternatives for fuel. The managing director of Ohorongo Cement Hans-Wilhelm Schütte said: “To confirm that our plant is running at the performance specified by our main contractor Polysius, during the period of production we will only use pure coal in our rotary kiln. After that, we plan to follow the example of our parent company who has replaced more than 80 % of coal with alternative fuels such as plastics and municipal waste.”

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