By Tuulikki Abraham
LUDERITZ – LL Namibia Phosphate started with the construction of a demonstration plant in Luderitz during May 2014, constituting an investment of about N$200 million, to conduct experimental test work for the manufacture of fertilisers from Namibia’s marine rock phosphate.
New Era caught up with the Director of LL Namibia Phosphate (LLNP), Kombadayedu Kapwanga, during his recent visit to Luderitz when he conducted a site visit on the company’s operations. During the visit, the !Nami#nus Councillor, Jan Scholtz, also acquainted himself with the experiments of the operation.
Kapwanga indicated that the aim of the experimental test work is not only to test the technical feasibility of the project, but also to identify environmental issues in anticipation of the construction of the industrial fertiliser facility. He stressed that during the second quarter of 2015, the company plans to conduct 10-day continuous trials to produce fertilisers from the phosphate rock once sufficient quantities of the material have been collected from the sampling programmer. During this time, the company intends to invite ministers, government officials, business people, the community, buyers and service providers to observe how Namibian phosphate can be turned into fertiliser products.
Kapwanga shed more light on the future commercial viability of the project and its benefits to Luderitz and Namibia. For import or export purposes, the current harbour cannot handle the volumes or size of vessels required, due to its shallow depth. For this reason LLNP and Namport are planning to construct a deep water port as an expansion of the port of Luderitz, which will also attract other identified industries to use this import or export facility.
Regarding the environmental issues, Kapwanga said the company is satisfied with the co-operation it is receiving from key stakeholders, especially the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, when conducting its studies and experiments.