Everything you need, at one energy-efficient site
Windhoek Fuel Centre (WFC), one of the most iconic full-service forecourts in Namibia, has once again stepped into an impressive new chapter with the official opening of its dedicated slipway and the commissioning of its state-of-the-art solar-power system, which will cater for 90% of its electricity needs.
“There is only one WFC in Namibia. Those who have been frequenting the area will have noticed the tremendous transformation that has taken place over the past two years, and it gives us great pleasure to relaunch this standout location, which has become a star in our partnership portfolio thanks to their focus on reinvesting in the development and advancement of their offering,” Edward Walungembe, managing director of Vivo Energy Namibia, said during the relaunch event last week.
The completion of a slipway entering WFC from the southern entrance has already greatly improved access to the facility, giving traffic - whether large trucks or smaller private vehicles - much safer and convenient manoeuvrability in and around WFC.
“The first thing we think about at Vivo Energy is our customers. So, we are extremely pleased to have achieved this milestone that will make for the safer and more convenient movement of traffic at this site,” Walungembe said.
Upon entering WFC, customers will experience an impressive range of offerings, including an expansive forecourt and truck port, car wash, a Spar Express convenience store, Bean Tree food court and ATMs, catering to needs of travellers, commuters and locals looking for one-stop convenience.
Modelled on the larger parent chain store, the Spar Express outlet will provide an ultra-convenient retail experience to motorists visiting WFC, 24 hours a day.
Beyond serving customers residing in the nearby suburbs of Kleine Kuppe, Cimbebasia and Olympia, convenience is also extended to travellers and transport operators who can now enjoy quick and easy shopping at any time of the day or night, not only at WFC, but 22 other Shell sites across the country.
Speaking prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Walungembe praised the growing relationship between Spar and Vivo Energy.
“I would like to thank our partners and stakeholders who have helped make these high-quality hybrid retail sites a reality. This is a combination of two very strong brands, and is ultimately to the benefit of our clientele, so we are very grateful to have the Spar Group as our partner as we grow this model,” he said.
The store, which comprises of a convenience section and a fresh food deli, employs 33 Namibians, bringing the total number of employees at WFC to 65.
“We are very excited about bringing additional shopping options to our customers in Namibia through our smaller Spar Express store format, and thank Vivo Energy and the owners of the respective sites where we are involved for enabling these mutually-beneficial synergies,” Francois Lotter from Spar Namibia said.
Going well, and green
A massive development has been the investment and installation of a large-scale industrial solar power plant, which will see 90% of WFC’s energy needs being sustainably sourced. This massive capital investment will see the facility being the most energy-efficient fuelling station in the country, with its expansive solar plant and energy storage facility even having the capacity to pump harvested solar electricity into the grid in future.
“This site is an absolute trailblazer!” Clinton Olckers, the managing director of Ellies Namibia, said.
“This is the first time an entire service station has gone off-grid, and with that came a massive opportunity for ourselves at Ellies, the team at WFC, the City of Windhoek and our consultants to understand how we could install a system of this scale and have it meet regulatory approval. This was invaluable, as it establishes a model which other businesses can follow to achieve this level of energy sustainability.”
“So, we must commend the WFC team for their foresight and commitment to making the significant investment in a system that will not only benefit themselves, but also the environment over the long term.”
WFC’s Pikkie Louw also voiced their excitement at the new developments.
“As WFC, we are extremely excited about this relaunch, as we get to engage clients with a much expanded new offering, including our car wash, Spar Express store and our new express entrance. Not only do we feel all these developments will be to the benefit of our clientele, but the commissioning of advanced new solar-power system is a testament of our commitment to being a sustainable and environmentally conscious business that has the interests of our country and environment at heart.
“With that, we invite the public - from near and far - to visit WFC and experience our standout, one-stop offering for themselves,” he said.