New Developments at CCF’s Field Centre in Namibia
- by Dr. Bruce Brewer May 3, 2022
Biomass Technology Demonstration Centre
One of the laboratories at the Biomass Technology Demonstration Centre (BTDC) was outfitted to support visiting bird researchers from Spain. CCF’s David Shipinga will also be using this lab area as he begins his honors degree at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) where he will be setting up our new biomass assay laboratory.
CCF’s SteamBIOAfrica project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme began in September with the construction of a new storage bunker for wood chips at CCFs BTDC. The SteamBIO project will introduce a new type of biomass energy production that will enable large scale, clean, secure, and affordable energy in Africa.
The goal of the project is to address the challenges facing southern Africa in producing low carbon energy, minimizing the impact of climate change and increasing the efficiency of natural resources. The project aims to transform these challenges into a resilient source of clean and secure energy and water, beginning in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.
CCF operates the BTDC in Namibia and will serve as the host for the new SteamBIOAfrica plant. CCF also provides the local biomass materials necessary for processing trials. The innovative SteamBIO power systems use superheated steam processing of unwanted bush and invasive biomass into high value clean burning, affordable and secure solid biofuel. The project is funded through 2024.
This year we anticipate receiving biomass-fueled generators and a torrefication plant and constructing a new mechanics shed at the edge of the current BTDC site as a part of the grant. We will begin to lay the groundwork for the new facilities by pouring a concrete foundation in the coming months.
A wastewater treatment plant, with a 5,000L capacity, was established at the BTDC. We will now be able to treat used water from our operations and disperse the precious resource back into our gardening efforts on the non-root-vegetable crops. Also, to benefit our food production and agricultural research, we will begin to build a new major compost production area near the wastewater treatment plant.
Multi-Purpose Annex aka “The Commissary”
CCF’s new multi-purpose annex was completed the end of 2021. The Commissary building includes support space for CCF’s operations and office space for staff working within the administration, ecology, genetics and visitor services departments. Much needed storage space is also available in the annex, including a walk-in freezer and cold-rooms for increased storage of perishable items.
The genetics lab now stores their Genome Resource Bank (samples like blood, tissues and semen) in the new facility. All the field equipment that helps with sample collection for our scat detection dog team and wildlife monitoring equipment like camera traps for our ecology team are also stored there. In addition, there is a new soap making room and supply storage that expands our livelihood development efforts using the goat milk produced at our Model Farm.