Orano Desalination Plant opens visitor centre

The Orano Desalination Plant has opened a visitor’s centre which will enable them to host larger groups of visitors at the plant without creating a big impact to the technology team operating the plant.

The new centre not only increases the scope of the visitors to be hosted at the plant in terms of group sizes but the plant can now also facilitate school groups of learners younger than 16 years to whom additional opportunities for workshops and meetings, focusing on the all-important technology of desalination are offered.

Executive Chairperson of Orano Mining Namibia, Hilifa Mbako at the centre near Wlotzkasbaken on Tuesday highlighted that opening the plant to the public, especially learners is an event which does not often happen in mine settings and should be commended as it creates a platform for more information on the plant to be shared.

“The benefits of this centre are many and over the years we have witnessed he transfer of technology, research skills and water demand management, among others. The skills and knowledge being transferred to these young Namibians will enable the country to continuously share the intellectual properties generated while working at the plants,” he expressed.

Erongo Governor Neville Andre noted that Orano Desalination Plant has the ability to provide water to rural areas with water shortages within the region.

“There are rural areas within the region who are struggling to acquire water fit for animal consumption, let alone human consumption. It is our hope that we will engage to address ways to get this desalination water to rural areas for rural agriculture development,” he noted.

Inaugurated in 2010, the Orano water purification plant was initially established to supply water to Orano’s Trekkopje Uranium Mine, but later expanded supplying to several mines in the area as well as to NamWater with about 75 per cent of its potable water for use in the towns of Swakopmund, Arandis and Walvis Bay.

The desalination plant is currently the largest and only reverse osmosis desalination plant in southern Africa, producing close to 20 million cubic metres of water per annum.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency