Namibia - Industry

Namibia's small industrial sector has centered on meat packing and fish processing, with some production of basic consumer goods. There are furniture and clothing factories, metal and engineering works, assembly plants for imported components, and a cement plant (which, however, closed in 1999 due to pollution risks to the lives of workers and residents in the area).

In 2000, industry accounted for 28% of GDP, 16% of which was attributed to manufacturing. Historically, Namibia has been dependent on South Africa's manufacturing sector. The government in 2003 forecast stronger GDP growth driven in part by base-metal smelting, food and beverage manufacturing, and textile manufacturing, anticipating a diversification of the economy away from its traditional reliance upon the mining sector. The construction sector showed strong growth in 2001, and although it slowed in 2002, new projects included extending the Northern Railway line from Tsumeb to Oshikango, the construction of a new State House, the resurfacing of the Kongola-Katima road, and the extension of the Trans-Caprivi highway westward.

Namibia remains underexplored with regard to oil and natural gas, but its greatest potential in the hydrocarbon sector remains with natural gas. The only significant discovery as of 2002 was the Kudu gas field operated by Shell. Plans were to construct a moderate-size electric power generation plant in Orangemund, a pipeline to the Western Cape in South Africa, and potentially two electric power plants there. The primary partners in the Kudu gas field project are Shell, Nampower, Eskom, and Texaco.

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