Biomass on the National Agenda

By Colin Lindeque

THE recently held Biomass Technology Expo 2019 has put biomass firmly on the national agenda, and calendar, taking its rightful place as one of the must-see annual trade shows in the country. The event took place on the 9th of August, at the Otjiwa Safari Lodge, and hosted over 1500 visitors, and 120 exhibitors and technology demonstrators.

The event represented a melting pot of technologies, products, and ideas, however, everything was centred on the core purpose of adding value to Namibia’s vast encroacher bush resource. Event sponsor, DHG, said it best, “the event topic was to the point and the focus remained on what was important”. Keeping the discussion on the local biomass industry meant that visitors were actively absorbed, and many spent the entire day engaging with exhibitors.

Exhibitors also came from far and wide for a chance to explore the growing Namibian biomass market, including representatives from Germany, Austria, Denmark, United Kingdom, United States, and South Africa. The expo attracted never before seen technologies to the country, not only exposing locals to them, but also allowing them to be demonstrated under local conditions. Such technologies include the Arjes 250 Impactor, a slow speed shredder technology produced in Germany, designed for efficient wood shredding applications. It was hailed as a “game changer” for the biomass energy sector, and will open up new ways of thinking around biomass energy projects, both local, and international.

Not only was this event of utmost importance to Namibian farmers suffering the effects of the ongoing drought, but it was also used to actively raise money for drought relief. Through ticket sales, raffles, and food and drink sales, over N$ 75 000 was raised for drought relief, which will be donated to the Dare to Care Drought Relief fund.

The expo also resulted in over N$ 1 million worth of equipment, products, and services being sold during the day, with many more useful leads still being explored.

Hoffmann’s Farm Implements, agents for John Deere and TomCat in Namibia hailed the expo as “better than the best Agricultural show in Namibia”. While the GIZ Bush Control & Biomass Utilisation Project marked the expo “as a turning point” for the biomass industry in Namibia.

The Biomass Technology Expo 2019 was made possible by our sponsors, Standard Bank, DHG, Pupkewitz, Agribank, Byte Able, CMO, Environmental Compliance Consultancy, John Thompson, Jumbo Charcoal, Namchar, NBC, and Umlilo.

For those who missed it, contact the Namibia Biomass Industry Group for general industry information, and be sure to join us for the expo in 2020.

Authored by Colin Lindeque, General Manager of the Namibia Biomass Industry Group (N-BiG), expo organiser, and a non-profit industry association for the biomass sector in Namibia. For more information, visit www.n-big.org

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