Namdeb is proud to announce that Namibia’s first ever battery-electric bus (E-bus) has arrived in Namibia. The arrival of the bus in Oranjemund aligns to Namdeb’s value of sustainability and the Company’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. As such Namdeb has undertaken to reduce its overall diesel and electricity consumption by improving efficiency of its processes as part of accelerating its carbon neutrality journey. This commitment further contributes to realising Namibia’s national effort of minimizing the negative impacts of society on the environment.
The (E-bus) arrived in Oranjemund Thursday 5 October 2023 and was “unveiled” to employees and the Oranjemund community at an employee event on 14 October 2023. Namdeb CEO Riaan Burger could not contain his excitement whilst stating that “No business can claim to be geared for the future and contributing to the world in a positive way unless it becomes carbon neutral. The E-bus as is one such opportunity that contributes to creating a carbon neutral future for Namdeb.” Burger further stated that the introduction of new technology requires new skills sets, as well as an opportunity to build capacity and reskill drivers and mechanics to enable them to operate and maintain the E-bus. This further demonstrates the commitment to developing and empowering employees.
The E-Bus forms part of a pilot testing in relation to battery electric vehicles to reduce the use of diesel. A total of approximately 30 drivers and 15 mechanics are expected to undergo driving and maintenance training of which 50% have been completed since the arrival with training scheduled in sessions. Trial testing of the bus is currently underway in the town of Oranjemund. The bus is currently being prepared to ensure that it is fit for purpose both from a safety and operational side. It is envisaged to be fully operationalized once it has successfully completed the trial testing period in Oranjemund town and transferred for use in Namdeb’s
Southern Coastal Mines in January 2024.
OTHER KEY FACTS
Namdeb is exploring the possibility of procuring additional 6 similar buses over the next 2 years.
• Namdeb’s commitment is aligned to achieving the climate change goal to become carbon neutral by 2030 with scope 1 (fossil fuels) and scope 2 (fossil electricity) emissions.
• As such, the company has developed a holistic overall carbon-neutral strategy consisting of four main strategic principles;
o (1) reduce consumption of fuel and/or electricity,
o (2) electrify as much of the current fuel-powered equipment and replace the remainder of the fossil fuelled equipment with green fuels,
o (3) replace fossil electric with electricity sourced from renewable energy sources and finally
o (4) for the remainder of the emissions that cannot be abate, to implement nature-based solutions to recover or remove carbon. The bus is designed to be a right-hand drive type with the ability to operate, at full capacity, on gravel and tarred roads with maximum gradient of 10%. In addition, the battery is designed to be able to cover at least 250 km, with air conditioning, on a single charge.
• The bus is manufactured by King Long and is a 65-seater.
• Namdeb is intentional in reducing its carbon footprint and driving its long-term sustainability goals, and is further investigating advanced potential solutions that support achieving its carbon neutral goals which include installation of rooftop solar of 250kw on the company’s office and workshop roofs, development of a larger solar facility solution to supplement the wind farm and reduce the fossil electricity by a further 20% and evaluate options to electrify current diesel consuming operations, alternative green fuels as well as possible nature-based carbon capture solutions in our mining areas.
• The outlined potential solutions will not only assist to achieve a carbon neutral state but will also include secondary benefits such as community development, job creation, and improved biodiversity. This is demonstrable of the fact that the company’s legacy continues and that Namdeb is indeed mining for good to build forever!