NamWater eyes Areva Desalination Plant

16 November 2018 Author   CHAMWE KAIRA

The Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) is eyeing to acquire the Orano Resources owned, Orano Desalination Plant near Swakopmund, it emerged this week. 

Orano is a French nuclear energy company formerly known as Areva.  
The company this week called for bids from companies to submit proposals for financial, technical and legal transaction advisory consultation for the potential acquisition of the Orano Desalination Plant.
The plant has a design capacity of 54 million cubic meters and was commissioned in 2013. 
Water from the plant is supplied to mines as well as Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.   
Orano currently supplies, under a temporary take or pay water supply agreement, just over 12 million cubic meters of water per annum to NamWater, which in turn sells the desalinated water mainly to the adjacent uranium mines.
“The service provider will be asked to assist in the financial, technical and legal evaluation of the desalination plant as well as to assist in the upcoming negotiation phase with Areva. The scope of the services will include the evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of an outright acquisition compared to a long term agreement with Areva, the recommendation of a financing structure and purchase price in the case of an outright acquisition, the recommendation of a long term agreement including its structure and its pricing, assistance during the negotiation stage with the vendor and highlighting the findings of any technical, legal and financial risks associated with the desalination plant,” NamWater said in a notice this week.    
The Windhoek Observer reported in June that the Government of Botswana, which is desperate to find additional water sources, is said to be in talks with Orano to buy the desalination plant. 
Orano mothballed its Trekkopje mine in the Erongo Region in 2012 and has said it will reconsider reopening the mine if prices on the world market reach US$60-65 per pound. 
The mine receives about N$100 million every month for care maintenance.
Areva revised the resource estimate for the Trekkopje deposit from 45,200 t U to 26,000 t U, since chemical analysis of ore samples showed much lower uranium concentrations than expected from radiometric monitoring, in particular for low grade ores.

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