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Published: 31 January 2018

NBL contributes significantly to ‘Growth-at-home’

NBL contributes significantly to ‘Growth-at-home’ With ‘Growth-at-home’ and local value add being a serious talk on the lips of Namibian government and the nation at large, some Namibian enterprises show commitment to investing in the local economy. One such establishment is that of Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group – that shares in the achievement of one of the latest developments and contribution to local manufacturing in Namibia. Established in 2011, Namibia Plastics will soon open a local manufacturer that will close the gap of an estimated 50% of plastic currently imported from abroad.

CEO and co-founder of Namibia Plastics, Johan Struwig attributes a significant part of the company’s success to NBL, saying that after several months of knocking from one door to the other following his decision in 2010 to quit his full-time job as a director of a financial services company, with no success in winning local clients over, NBL was the one company that decided to give Namibia Plastics a chance. Struwig: “Initially, I started from a home based office, making use of a spare room, one cell phone, and a laptop. We struggled for a few months with no orders. The average response in approaching potential clients was always ‘let us know when you have Namibian clients on board, then we will buy’. I told them that our suppliers have big customers in South Africa – hoping that this will rescue us and bring in Namibian clientele, but unfortunately it didn’t’.”

Struwig eventually landed an appointment with NBL Manager: Strategic Sourcing, Christin Obst. “To my relief, NBL was willing to give me a chance despite the absence of any client-references. However, Obst was very adamant and demanded for a clear roadmap on our plans for a footprint in Namibia going forward. The support from NBL was thus on condition that we sign a contract in which we commit ourselves to produce plastic locally when we reach enough volumes. Our very first order then came in October 2011, which was from NBL, valued at N$77,247.23. This order from NBL opened further doors for us with other Namibian clients as we were now able to use Namibia Breweries as a reference. Some of our current clientele include NBL, Ohorongo Cement, Bokomo, Namib Poultry Industries, Namib Mills, Namib Foam, Coca-Cola, Etosha Fisheries and Seawork Fish Processors.”

Obst emphasized that supporting local continues to be a passionate element on the journey of NBL, and O&L at large going forward. Obst: “Before we look anywhere else, we will always have a close look at home first, to see if the goods and services we need cannot be supplied by Namibian companies. And because not all the needed goods and services are readily available in Namibia yet, developing Namibian businesses is a journey that will reach full potential only when everything we need is supplied locally. However, until then, adding value locally should be a first option for each and every Namibian business – acquire what you can locally, this will support the growth of Business Namibia. Namibia Plastics, and Johan in particular has proven himself as a dedicated man, not only to his and his company’s future, but also to the future well-being of our nation.”

Struwig says in 2014 the company officially landed a position in the market, became bankable and started employing people, with an office in Prosperita, including a warehouse of 250 squares. “Our good business reputation landed us a N$5 million loan from the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) which we used to open a branch in Walvis Bay. We started targeting fish, salt and sugar factories which assisted us to maintain an average growth percentage in excess of 100% over the last 6 years.”
Namibia Plastics is currently busy with the construction of a 2660 Squares state-of-the-art manufacturing plant at Brakwater which is expected to be complete before the end of this year.
Published: 18 January 2018

Midgard country estate goes green

Midgard country estate goes green A newly constructed Solar Power Plant at Midgard Country Estate will save the establishment more than N$17 million in electricity cost and thousands of tons of CO² over the next 25 years. On Thursday, 21 December 2017, the plant constructed by the strategic partner of O&L Energy, Cronimet Mining Power Solutions, was officially handed over to O&L Energy (owner and financier of the project) – a subsidiary of the O&L Group.

Terence Makari, Managing Director of O&L Leisure (custodian of Midgard Country Estate), and a subsidiary of the O&L Group says the 128 kilowatt at peak (kWp) power plant is part of the company’s journey towards going green. Makari: “We are passionately committed to the O&L Group Vision Metric of reducing our carbon footprint by 20% by 2019. The solar power plant at Midgard which has been in operation since 21 December 2017 is only the beginning of our journey towards adjusting our electricity usage to a more environmental friendly system across the O&L Leisure portfolio.”
According to O&L Energy CEO, Bernd Walbaum, the N$4 million Solar Power Plant at Midgard is partly subsidized by CRONIMET Mining Power Solutions’ development program together with the German Investment & Development Organization (Deutsche Entwicklungs- und Investitionsgesellschaft “DEG”), on condition that the plant be used as a demonstration for training purposes to universities, programs and individuals as may be determined by the DEG. Walbaum adds that its strategic partner Cronimet Mining Power Solutions is currently constructing another larger solar power plant at the Etosha Mokuti Lodge – a member of the O&L Leisure portfolio – expected to be operational later this month. Walbaum: ”We also agreed with O&L Leisure to build, own and operate a new hybrid solar power plant with battery storage and diesel generators at its Chobe Water Villas.”

Walbaum says that a significant aspect of the power plant at Midgard is the speciality service which includes a Monitoring and Energy Management System designed to optimally manage power consumption of the lodge. Walbaum: “The production of electricity at Midgard will thus be optimized by the system to suit the demand. The system can also manage energy consumption, thus contributing significantly, and even further to cost-saving on electricity usage.

Due to the weather conditions at the coast, the construction of a solar power plant for the Strand Hotel Swakopmund is not an option at this stage. Makari: “However, we do host other sustainable systems at the Strand Hotel Swakopmund, in support of our contribution to controlling the energy usage at the facility. Some of these include the automatic switching off of lights when residents remove their access cards from the card holder and exit the rooms. We are also reviewing a carbon neutrality strategy that will enable the O&L Group companies to acquire PV electricity through future wheeling agreements and through inhouse carbon offset credits that allow grid-connected operations like the Strand Hotel to sponsor carbon offset certificates provided by OLC Solar Energy, O&L Group’s renewable energy IPP subsidiary, for the renewable energy it generates and sells to Namibia’s national and regional distributors. “

The Solar Power Plant at Midgard Country Estate intertwines with the current renovations process currently underway at the establishment. The first phase of the renovations master plan for Midgard, which kicked off earlier this year entailed minor renovations to existing structures and the removal of certain absolute structures. Makari: “The renovations are being done to revitalize, upgrade and enhance our guests’ experience, and to return Midgard to its former glory where memories have been created amongst friends and family, and to bring the property on par with the others within the O&L Leisure portfolio.”

O&L Executive Chairman, Sven Thieme says this partnership between O&L Leisure and O&L Energy/Cronimet Mining Power Solutions contributes significantly to the O&L Vision Metric of reducing its carbon footprint with 20% by 2019. Thieme: “It makes me very proud to be a part of such a dynamic and passionate team of breakthrough thinkers and leaders, in contribution to our purpose of ‘creating a future, enhancing life’ – which is exactly what they are doing through these initiatives which will contribute significantly to environmental sustainability, thus add value to the future of this nation.”
Published: 17 January 2018

2018 DTS Volleyball for all in full swing

2018 DTS Volleyball for all in full swing

From only 240 spaces available for participating teams, 109 have already been booked by Wednesday, 17 January for the annual “Volleyball for All” hosted by the DTS Sports Club in Windhoek, and proudly sponsored by Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group – through its premium beer brand Windhoek Draught.

According to James Verrinder – Chairperson of the Namibia Beach Volleyball Academy, and Tournament Director of the “Volleyball for All”, the 35th commemoration of this much anticipated annual event on the local sports and entertainment calendar started its journey in 1984 with only 34 participating teams. Verrinder: “The event grew to 90 teams in 1987, and boasts with 240 teams over the past five years. Unfortunately due to resources we are unable to exceed the 240 mark at this stage. Entries are coming in at a very fast pace, and we expect all 240 spots to be filled by this time next week.”

This year the Windhoek Draught DTS Volleyball For All will take place on Saturday, 03 February 2018 at the DTS club premises in Sean McBride Street, Olympia. Windhoek Draught Brand Manager, Tasneem Klazen says NBL, under various brands has been supporting the event since 2001, with its premium brand, Windhoek Draught taking over as main sponsor nine years ago. Klazen: “This event is perfectly aligned with what Windhoek Draught stands for. Our brand is all about creating memorable outdoor experiences where real friends can enjoy real beer. This event is an opportunity for corporates to kick off 2018 with a bang or for individual entrants to simply break away from work-loaded mind-sets and have fun. This year’s tournament promises nail-biting volleyball matches, a variety of tasty snack stalls and loads of prizes up for grabs. Windhoek Draught will have competitions throughout the day, so be sure not to miss it. Numerous companies make use of this event for team building and social purposes – a truth we are also very proud of.” Klazen added that Windhoek Draught Ambassador, Gazza will entertain the audience at the prize-giving ceremony later in the day.

The DTS Chairperson, Axel Dainat placed emphasis on how this annual event would not exist without the sponsorship that keeps it alive. Other sponsors include Namibia Health Plan (NHP) who came on board this year, and Radiowave as Media Partner for the event. Dainat: “The relationship with our sponsors does not end once their sponsorship have been signed off, but this is an ongoing relationship even after, and between the events every year. These are relationships we foster and cherish, and truly appreciate, because without them, no success can be achieved. We are truly and deeply appreciative and thankful.”

Technical Director of the Namibian Volleyball Federation, Christian Scholze also expressed gratitude to the sponsors, and excitement at how volleyball is kept alive in the country regardless of the challenges faced.

Entries close on Thursday, 25 January 2018. However, if the maximum total of 240 teams are reached before then, submission for entries automatically closes. Apart from medals, exciting additional prizes can be won for best dressed, sportiest, and best organized team among others. Food stalls will also be present at the event throughout the day, and right after the prize-giving ceremony which follows shortly after the final game of the day while DJ Coco will entertain the crowd in the beer tent until late at night.

Online registration forms and all relevant information can be obtained from the website: www.dts.org.na

For more information regarding team entries, James Verrinder can be contacted at j.verrinder@gmail.com or 0814554571.