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Cobra-aka-Grobler got it wrong

By Simon Kapenda
Jonathan Cobra has been disparaging about me on social media, specifically on Facebook since many newspapers in Namibia have reported and published news articles about our Otavi Steel Mill development in Otavi, Namibia.

After these articles which have appeared back to back since about two weeks ago in Die Republikein, Allgemeine Zuitung, Namibian Sun, The Namibian, New Era, and Prime Focus Magazine, John went on a rampage, posting lots of nonsense specifically about me, personally, on our Groot Town Center's Facebook Page at http:// w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / GrootTownCenter, my personal Facebook profile, as well as on any Facebook Page associated with me personally. And this has become more like an obsessive stalking.

His argument is regarding a 16 year old issue about WEA, which was an organization I founded in Dayton, Ohio USA. The Namibian has written on this issue at about the time it happened, and in 2010 or 2011, Die Republikein and Insight Magazine also published an article and mentioned the same issue.

I wrote and published a rebuttal statement on this issue on my personal blog, see http:// princesimon.wordpress.com/ 2010/05/31/die-republikein-newsarticle- by-ronelle-rademeyerabout- simon-kapenda/ The news article in Die Republikein regarding this issue was written by Ronelle Radameyer, see http:// www.republikein.com.na/politieken- nasionale/prins-simon-had-alswaarde- gekruis-met-iersepremier.

107707.php, whom last week Saturday, I sat down with her for about three hours at Thuringerhof Hotel, interviewing me on our Groot ecosystem and our planned Otavi Steel Mill development. Her article was published on Wednesday, the following week. Prior to sitting down with Ronelle, she had written about three or four news article in Die Republikein, and hers were based on an ill-informed journalist, who was writing news on economics and our economic development projects which is not her area of expertise.

Moreover, after the said news articles by Ronelle, I went and sat down with Dani Booysen, the Editor of Die Republikein, we sat for about three hours at Thuringerhof Hotel in Windhoek interviewing me and discussing about our Groot ecosystem development in Namibia.

Thereafter, Dani went and published an article regarding that interview, see http:// www.republikein.com.na/politieken- nasionale/algemeen/grootdroom- mik-plaas-toe.122167.php. I had also sat down with Tangeni Amupadhi, then Editor of Insight Magazine and now currently Editor of The Namibian and Elvis Muraranganda, for a lengthy interview on our Groot ecosystem development and the same topic.

Their article was published in the Insight Magazine of March 2011. For whatever else John is writing about me personally, he is doing so to attack my personality, character, kindness, integrity, and sincerity. His argument is baseless, irrelevant, foolish and based on an uninformed journalist.

He is arguing that our Groot ecosystem development in Namibia is fraud, unsubstantiated, and has no merit due to the fact that such as our Steel Mill in Otavi, with an output capacity of 10 million tons per year, that it is fraud, not real, and not feasible because there is no Iron Ore in Namibia, hence no materials to produce the planned output capacity.

He is arguing that our appointed engineering company, Scorpion Mineral Processing, does not exist in South Africa and that they have no credibility. He is arguing that our Steel Mill has no agreement in place with Lodestone, I have never heard of this name before and do not know who they are.

He is arguing that our Steel Mill will consume 500 MW a day of electricity, I do not know where he got this information from, which is not true. See below for the facts. He is further claiming that our posted trainee positions of 150 to be trained in steel-making in Italy is fraud since we will charge fees, which is not true. Those who attended our Meeting at Safari Hotel on February 12 heard from our engineering partners, Danieli, the need for these trainees and no, we are not charging any fees for anyone to be trained for our steel-making.

His also argument is that the development of Groot in the Kunene Region is also fraud and not feasible due to the fact that in the Kunene Region, there are no infrastructures hence no customers to support the Groot development.

His other argument is that we are building a 900 CCGT power plant when Namibia only consumes about 550 MW a day. Let us look at his individual arguments, starting with our planned Steel Mill in Otavi.

Our steel mill development is by Otavi Steel (Pty) Ltd, a company set up to be involved in an integrated steel production with its headquarter offices and base of production operation to be based in Otavi, Namibia. This company plans to have an annual gross production capacity of 10.3 million net tons of steel, making it the largest steel manufacturing plant in Africa.

Our plan is to focus on the manufacturing of a wide range of short and long steel products as well as value-added steel sheet and tubular products for the automotive, appliance, container, industrial machinery, construction, and oil and gas industries around the world.

Budgeted at N$25 billion for the development and construction, the Otavi Steel Mill expects to create more than 25,000 of direct manufacturing jobs in Otavi with more than 150,000 of sustainable indirect jobs throughout Namibia. Otavi Steel will have an exponential positive impact on the overall Namibian economy as it will affect nearly every sector; from energy, water, roads, railway, shipping, mining, human capital, medical clinics, agriculture, education, and more. It is an economic ecosystem by itself as more developers and investors are expected to come to the Otavi area to setup new businesses to offer products and services for the Otavi Steel Mill workers.

The Otavi Steel Mill is being developed in two different production capacity mills, a Nanomill with a production capacity of 300,000 net tons of rebars and is expected to be commissioned by mid 2014 and a Megamill with an annual production capacity of 10 million net tons of short and long steel products, which is expected to be commissioned by mid 2015. However, only 3 million net tons of the Megamill will be initially commissioned and the remaining will be thereafter added annually with a pair of the same capacity to reach the planned 10.3 million tons a year.

The combined Otavi Steel Mills will require 1260MW of electricity per day, (1200 MW of that is for the Megamill and 34 MW is for the Nanomill), 80,000 cubic meters of water per day, a dedicated shipping dock at the Walvisbay Port to load and unload 30 million tons of raw materials and finished products per year, 20 million tons of Iron Ore per year from yettobedeveloped Iron Ore mines in Namibia and Cassinga in Angola, a railway from Oshikango in Namibia to Cassinga for the transportation of Iron Ore and Scrap Metals from Cassinga, as well as a production of blackthorns found between Otjiwarongo and Otavi for biofuel energy, and more infrastructure as needed for the full efficiency operation of the Otavi Steel Mill.

SMS Group South Africa, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Germany based SMS Group is the development, technology and equipment providing partner for the Otavi Steel Megamill, and Italy based Danieli is the development, technology and equipment providing partner for the Otavi Steel Nanomill, while South Africabased Scorpion Mineral Processing is the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management (EPCM) for the overall Otavi Steel Mill development.

Otavi Steel (Pty) Ltd is a Namibia based and owned company, incorporated and registered in Namibia (registration #2007/ 0307) under the laws of the Republic of Namibia Companies Act, 1973 (Act 61 of 1973). Our founding members with equal shareholding ownership in the Company are Groot Group, Otavi Town Council, SDS Group Namibia, and Andre Neethling Family Trust.

Our Directors are Daniel Kamunoko (Namibian), Managing Director of SDS Group representing SDS Group, Andre Neethling (Namibian), Co- Founder of Ohorongo Cement representing Andre Neethling Family Trust, Simon Kapenda (NamibianAmerican), CEO of Groot Group representing Groot Group, and Moses Matyayi (Namibian), CEO of Otavi Town Council representing the Otavi Town Council.

Regarding our power plant Recent regular power cuts in Windhoek have raised concerns of NamPowers energy generation stability, given that South African national power utility, Eskom, is said to have again communicated its inability to supply Namibia with electricity during this winter(New Era Newspaper, July 4, 2011).

Namibia, with a population of slightly more than 2.2 million, has a dire need of electricity supply; hence the development of a reliable, clean, safe and adequate electricity generation plant to power the entire urban and rural areas in Namibia is regarded by some of the Namibian government officials as a matter of national security urgency. The Country currently consumes about 3.2 Terawatts (TW) per year, which equals to an average of 550 Megawatts (MW) per day. Namibia Power Corporation (Pty) Ltd (NamPower), a national power utility company of Namibia, currently generates about 34% of electricity from its Hydro Power Plant in Ruacana, Coal Plant in Windhoek, and Diesel Power Plant in Walvis Bay and imports about 65% of its electricity requirements from South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and the DRC for distribution in Namibia.

South Africa has been the primary source for electricity generation for Namibia since the beginning of time. However, about 15 years ago, it informed NamPower that by around 2014, it will no longer be able to supply electricity to Namibia. South Africa has since reduced its electricity supply to Namibia in 2011 and it only accounts for 10%. Zimbabwe has also been supplying 150 MW of electricity to Namibia. However, it has informed NamPower about 10 years ago that by around 2014 it will also cut off its supply to Namibia.

In mid-November 2010, His Excellency President Hifikepunye Pohamba and his counterparts from Zambia and Botswana inaugurated the Caprivi Link Interconnector, an N$2.4 billion (US$348 million) electricity line financed by NamPower to supply 300 MW with a capacity of 600 MW of electricity to Namibia, Zambia and Angola. But, thats not sufficient because its shared among the three countries and it may experience frequent congestion depending on which countrys heavy usage at any given time.

Our Steel Mill alone, the Nanomill will need 34 MW of electricity a day, which during our meeting of February 19, 2012 with NamPower and our engineers from Danieli stated that they are able to supply us with our electricity need. This was also reported in Die Republikein article of Wednesday last week.

However, for our Megamill, NamPower has no electricity capacity to supply us with our electricity need of 1200 MW per day, hence the need for us to develop and build a 900 MW CCGT power plant, which is upgradeable to 4000 MW using Liquefied Natural Gas, an imported natural gas, since Namibia currently has no developed natural gas well to supply for our power plant. Our power plant is being planned for development in Walvisbay and will be commercial operation by mid 2015 in time for the first phase commissioning of our Megamill and will be ungraded in tangent with the Megamill future phases development.

Regarding our Groot Town Center We are planning to develop Groot Groot Town Center as an upscale multifarious community on a private land near Etosha National Park in the Kunene Region, Namibia.

It will occupy more than 2.2 million square feet of exceptional interior shopping mall and entertainment space and 300 acres of an upper-class exterior town center featuring high with pedestrianfriendly streetscapes, open-air gathering spaces, fountains, children's parks, theme parks, and more than 2,100 best-in-class retails from around the world, entertainment, medical facilities, educational institutions, luxury hotels, fine dining restaurants, office spaces and residential properties.

Groot is being developed to be anchored by diverse industries that will create a powerful, perpetual and self-sustained economic ecosystem. It's being developed on a private land in the area of Outjo, Otavi, and Tsumeb; just about 129 kilometers from Etosha National Park, in the Kunene Region of Northwestern Namibia.

To be continued next week


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