GMSA cuts energy bill by R11m
Port Elizabeth|Eskom|General Motors South Africa|Energy Consumption|Energy Costs|Energy Efficient Fittings|Energy Savings Measures|Energy Use|Oven Flue-gas|Paint Shop|Paint Shop Oven Start-up|Paint Shop Spray Booth|Reduced Energy|Reduced Energy Consumption|DON PHALADI|Joel Wolf|Lushen Govender|Richard Demuynck
© Reuse this
General Motors South Africa (GMSA) has cut energy costs at its two Port Elizabeth plants by R11,34-million a year, in response to power utility Eskom's tight supply situation, and a growing green agenda.
GMSA facilities area manager Lushen Govender says R7,2-million of this was achieved by three actions alone.
One was to reduce the paint shop spray booth operating temperature, another to facilitate a drop in spray booth operating humidity, and the last to better control the paint shop oven start-up and shut-down times.
“Around 70% of our energy use comes from the paint shop and vehicle finishing,” notes Govender.
“We used to, for example, start the oven up an hour before a vehicle got there, now we start it up just before it arrives.”
Other energy savings measures include installing a oven flue-gas heat recovery system, switching off the hot water circulating pumps after hours, and reducing the number of pretreatment pumps in operation during production.
GMSA has also reduced the lighting levels in the plant by a calculated 200 kW, and retrofitted eight-foot fluorescent fittings with five-foot energy efficient fittings, reducing energy consumption and demand in terms of lighting by 25%.
A lean approach to print, scan, fax, and copier operations have also reduced this number of devices by 45%, which has reduced energy significantly, notes Govender.
He says the aim is for the company to consume 2,09 MWh per unit produced this year, at a planned 36 000 units annual production.
Last year, when the economy and vehicle demand were still upbeat, production reached 51 000 units, with the economies of scale this enabled ensuring energy use of only 1,89 MWh per unit.
A cut-back in production, therefore, does not neccesarily equate reduced energy consumption.
GMSA's Port Elizabeth facilities use roughly 4 500 MWh of electricity a month.
All in all, says Govender, GMSA Port Elizabeth has, to date this year, achieved a 29% reduction in electricity consumption compared with 2008.
GMSA manufacturing vice-president Richard Demuynck says energy costs make up about 10% of the company's annual manufacturing costs.
The target for water consumption per unit produced at GMSA is 4,25 m3 per unit, compared with last year's 3,67 m3 per unit, at a higher production rate.
Govender says the company's production facilities have, to date, achieved 52% saving in water use in 2009 compared with 2007.
Initiatives implemented since 2000 to save water include reusing affluent streams in the paint shop, introducing rain sensors to ensure the minimal watering of the gardens, and decreasing the plant's water supply pressure.
The attempts to green the plant have also reduced its waste streams.
GMSA environmental services coordinator Joel Wolf says GMSA has a waste goal of 30,04 kg a vehicle produced for 2009, compared with 34,24 kg in 2008.
This waste refers to any land-filled waste generated as a result of the vehicle manufacturing process, such as sludge from the paint shop.
“GM demands an annual 5% reduction, but we want a 10% reduction and, so far this year, we have achieved that,” notes Wolf.
A stringent recycling effort has seen the company initiate a process to recycle plastics, wood, electronics, kitchen grease, auto fluids, gloves, rags, scrap metal, food waste (which goes to a pig farmer), paper, card board, garden waste and solvents.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
© Reuse this
Other Automotive News
Peugeot Citroën South Africa (PCSA) is “fighting as a team” to secure local assembly of the Peugeot 301 in South Africa, says PCSA MD Francis Harnie. He says the entry-level sedan is only available in left-hand drive at the moment, and that PCSA wants the...
Hyundai Automotive South Africa (HASA) sold around 50 000 new vehicles in 2013, a 5% drop from 2012 volumes. This decline follows an almost meteoric rise in sales over the last few years as South Africans warmed to the imported Korean brand. The total new vehicle...
Major changes have been announced at PSA Peugeot Citroën as it continues the fight to return to profitability and increase sales. It is especially the overseas markets that have taken a pummelling for the French manufacturer at the beginning of 2014, with the...
Article contains comments
Few would argue with the notion that unemployment, which stands at around 25% on the narrow definition as reported by Statistics South Africa, remains one of the country’s most pressing challenges. Fewer still could contest the view that South Africa’s education...
Renewable-energy projects, such as this Northern Cape solar farm, seen as key to low‐carbon energy supply.
Upfront investment costs will and should remain a critical consideration as South Africa moves to upscale and accelerate its infrastructure programmes. But one of the lead authors of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argues that the...
The barrier to efficient water service delivery in South Africa was not of a technological nature but rather related to legal and Constitutional challenges, Water Research Commission (WRC) CEO Dhesigen Naidoo said on Thursday. Opening a WRC debate under the theme...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
MORE IN SA Phase 2 should see local content on the mainline locomotive increase from 65% to 80% by the end of 2014
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...