WALVIS BAY – China National Uranium Corporation (CNUC)’s Rössing Uranium has equipped the Walvis Bay State Hospital with a N$4.5 million locally manufactured oxygen generator plant as a response mechanism for Covid-19 in the region.
Rössing Uranium is one of the stakeholders that are part of the Corona-care initiative that was launched last month by the Welwitschia Private Hospital in partnership with the business sector to assist the public health sector to respond to Covid-19 pandemic.
The plant was assembled by the Windhoek-based company, African Gas Solutions within 10 days and it is expected to provide oxygen to about 80 beds of the containerised medical facility whose construction started already behind the Walvis Bay State Hospital.
At the handover ceremony, African Gas Solutions owner Loic Bathfield said this was one of their biggest challenges ever seeing that they had to build the plant in 10 days.
“I accepted the challenge and we managed to do it. I am extremely proud of my team as we had to work long hours to complete the project on time,” Bathfield explained.
He added that although the project was challenging, it clearly shows that Namibians have the expertise to build state-of-the-art medical equipment instead of relying solely on imports.
“We really do not need to import oxygen from other countries since we have the local expertise to produce it, although some parts had to be imported,” he explained.
The Managing Director of Rössing Uranium, Johan Coetzee indicated the oxygen generator will be on loan to supply oxygen to the new isolation facility until the threat of Covid-19 is over, after which it will be donated to a state hospital of their choice in the region.
“We don’t know what course this virus will take in our region, but we want to be prepared and have the necessary treatment facilities in place should we need it and that is why the oxygen generating plant is vital in treating Covid-19,” Coetzee said. Erongo governor Neville Andre said the contribution speaks volume about the most important part to tackle and contain Covid-19, which is medical equipment.
“Such equipment is very important, to enhance the lives of patients with the illness. It is a life-saving device and all other advantages that it comes with. The role of the private sector in assisting government in its quest to mitigate this pandemic is applaudable,” Itope said. Itope added that such support ensures readiness and commitment of all stakeholders to save the lives of people. “We still have a long way to go, so I’m calling on all stakeholders to continue to vigorously fight this pandemic,” he said.
Built in Windhoek with most of its parts sourced locally, the new plant is able to produce 436 litres of oxygen per minute with a purity of 95%.
It produces high quality oxygen and is fitted with innovative technology that allows it to be remotely viewed and adjusted. The oxygen generator drastically reduces operation costs and it is safe to maintain. It also eliminates the risk of supply chain failure and is an eco-friendly Namibian product.