Government Still Negotiating Desalination Plant Takeover

The government and Areva are still negotiating the transfer of Areva’s Erongo desalination plant to Namibian Water Corporation.

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Energy Kahijoro Kahuure said this during the two-day Chamber of Mines mining conference held last week.

The conference ran parallel to the Mining Expo in the capital under the theme ‘Mining Industry: A catalyst for Vision 2030’.

The desalination plant is the largest of its kind in southern Africa, and is located at Wlotzkasbaken, some 30 kilometres from Swakopmund.

The plant was inaugurated in 2010 to supply potable water to the Trekkopje uranium mine. In 2013, Areva signed a contract with NamWater for the distribution of water to three uranium mines in the Erongo region – Rio Tinto’s Roumlssing, Paladin Energy’s Langer Heinrich and Swakop Uranium’s Husab mines.

Kahuure said water is a strategic resource.

“I remember when we gave Areva the permit to start that dissemination plant, I was at the department of water affairs then. We did not think it through thoroughly,” he said.

He said Areva is in the business of mining and not the business of providing water to other mines, adding that government is now negotiating with Areva on how it will acquire the plant and at what cost.

Kahuure said government has established a special committee to engage the company so that it can transfer the desalination plant to NamWater.

“The reason for that is that we have received complaints from many of you sitting here that another mining company is giving a resource at a cost that perhaps is not a consumer rate,” he said.

Nampa

Source : The Namibian