Renewable energy company, Sustainable Heating, launched their newest Biomass Steam Plant on 30 November this year at Paarl Media Cape in Milnerton, Western Cape. By using renewable energy in their print facilities, the print leader will witness a staggering amount of electricity and carbon emission savings.
Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, attended the grand opening of the impressive biomass steam facility at Paarl Media Cape, the flagship plant of Paarl Media, known as the print division of Novus Holdings. Novus Holdings prides itself on its environmentally sound business practices focused on delivering the highest quality work with the least impact on the environment.
Philosophy of sustainability
“At Novus Holdings, we do business the sustainable way and take into account energy costs. With constant electricity tariff increases and load-shedding occurrences, the Biomass Boiler reduces production costs in the long run and creates a buffer against electricity inflation, while working towards creating a neutral carbon footprint in developing steam for our gravure press,” says Peter Metcalfe, Novus Holdings group executive for sales.
The steam plant is constructed, owned and managed by renewable energy company Sustainable Heating, their third installation in South Africa.
Operation and construction
Paul Gorremans, Founder of Sustainable Heating says that there are numerous benefits of the newly constructed biomass steam plant, which operates on woodchips as opposed to fuel or paraffin. “Through the biomass facility, we will see an about 218 000 tons of carbon reduction over 15 years. The plant is 85 to 90% energy efficient, with fuel only being used to transport the woodchips.”
Their facility at Paarl Media Cape took a mere 17 weeks from inception to completion – a great achievement for Gorremans and his team. “It is a team effort, at one point there were 120 workers per day on the construction site to complete the facility.”
The company, who is funded by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Mergence, has long-term agreements with sawmills, pallet factories and manufacturers with wood offcuts. “We have a strong untreated wood supply and the efficiency of our machines keep the emissions at the lowest,” says Gorremans. “The wood ash produced by the plant can also be easily reused to make bricks and is acceptable for composting.”
Jobs and environmental wins
Through this Biomass Steam Plant, Sustainable Heating has created over 12 permanent jobs including boiler artisans and operators, managers, general helpers, drivers and waste handlers. Each installation supports local entrepreneurs in various fields ranging from waste handling to engineering.
The facility is completely owned and managed by Sustainable Heating where they sell the steam output to Paarl Media Cape for their print manufacturing.