WINDHOEK, Mar. 14 – Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, has stressed that NAMCOR will be the manager of the National Oil Storage project on behalf of the Namibian Government as decided by the Cabinet.
Alweendo was speaking at a media briefing yesterday, where he explained that the the project was one of the most important public projects that could be a positive catalyst for future economic growth. He also took time to explain disparages between the initial envisaged cost and the present-day cost of the project.
Said Alweendo, ” The project was initially conceived to cost an estimated amount of N$3.7 billion. With time the project scope became bigger than it was initially planned and it is now estimated to cost N$5.6 billion. In the meantime, a number of concerns were raised against the project where allegations of irregularities were made. In response, the Government has instituted a process to investigate any wrongdoing. The process is still ongoing.”
Alweendo then explained that the complex nature of the operation could possibly require additional technical expertise to compliment NAMCOR.
“Given the complexity of the operation, NAMCOR might need technical expertise to manage the facility. A transparent process of procuring the needed technical expertise will be followed. I need to state here that so far no company has been appointed to manage the facility,” he said.
He said that if an entity would be tasked to providing technical expertise to NAMCOR, then such a company would have to go through ‘transparent procedures,’ and that it would require the company to provide a transfer of skills to NAMCOR so as to ensure that NAMCOR would be able to carry out its duties.
The Mining sector currently contributes to more than 10% of Namibia’s GDP, according to Alweendo, and it has realised fixed investment of N$43 billion between 2011 and 2016.
Turning to the Energy sector, Alweendo said that Namibia currently generates 40% of the current demand, while a staggering 60% is imported.
“This is not a tenable situation and we need to do more, and rather quickly, to increase our generation capacity,” he said.
An international survey – The 2017 Fraser Institute annual mining survey – placed Namibia as 54th (from 53rd) out of 91 jurisdictions. The Fraser Institute is Canadian public policy think tank what assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors impact mineral exploration investment.
“Approximately 40% of their investment decision is determined by policy factors, while 60% is determined by the geological attractiveness. When only policies are considered, Namibia is ranked 2nd in Africa as the most attractive jurisdiction,” added Alweendo. – firstname.lastname@example.org