Jun 22, 2012
Aquifer seen as sustainable long-term source for Gauteng bottling plantBack
Coca Cola|Gauteng Plant Mike Jacobs|Energy Efficient Lighting|Energy Targets|Energy Use|Energy-saving Measures|Heidelberg Aquifer|Mike Jacobs
© Reuse this
Quality assurance manager for the Gauteng plant Mike Jacobs maintains that while the plant is licensed to extract 180-million litres a year of water from the aquifer, it currently only extracts around 90-million litres a year.
Moreover, only around 8% of the current mean rainfall levels are required to ensure the source’s longevity, considering the plant’s current extraction volumes.
The sustainability of the water supply should also go some way towards assuring the plant’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, an internationally recognised programme for benchmarking the design, construction and operation of green buildings.
For accreditation, a building must accumulate points based on the number of energy-saving measures implemented, such as specialised roof insulation, energy efficient lighting and overall environmental impact.
“We monitor our energy use very carefully, and have not just met, but exceeded, our energy targets in the last eight months of production. We also use rainwater harvesting techniques, and optimise sunlight for both light and heating,” says Jacobs.
Meanwhile, any excess water in the system is recycled and used to cool the production line, after which it undergoes reed bed filtration before settling in an on-site dam.
Prior to being bottled, the water from three production boreholes linking the plant to the source undergoes extensive analytical and micro- bial testing to ensure consistency and adherence to regulations. It then undergoes a filtration process, but nothing is added or removed from it before it is bottled and, as a result, the water maintains its original mineral composition.
To preserve the integrity of the product, the bottling area is a completely closed, sanitised area and is maintained at a positive air pressure to prevent the movement of dust. The two engineers required to manage the system enter and exit through an ‘air shower’ area, which uses ionised air to remove impurities.
“The air quality is on par with that of a surgical theatre, and is Class 100 000,” says Jacobs.
Once filled, each bottle receives a drop of liquid nitrogen, which transforms into nitrogen gas and fills the remaining headspace. This prevents deformation of the bottle at varying altitudes, ensures microstability of the water and ensures shelf life. It is then capped and packaged.
The ‘PlantBottle’ used by Valpré is fully recyclable and contains no fossil fuels, with 30% of the bottle made up of Brazilian sugar cane, further driving the plant’s zero-to-landfill operational imperative.
Last year, Engineering News reported the installation of a 30 kW, R1.6-million solar photo- voltaic system at the Heidelberg facility, which feeds into Coca Cola’s internal grid and supplements its power requirements with solar energy, thus reducing its reliance on the national grid.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other News This Week News
Recent Research Reports
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...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
Projects in Progress - Second Edition (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s second Projects in Progress supplement considers some of the major project developments under way, including high-profile energy and transport projects, as well as a few of the lower-profile public and private developments. What remains apparent is...
Water 2013: A review of South Africa’s water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2013 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Canadian Mining Roundup for June 2013 (PDF Report)
The June 2013 roundup includes details of the development of TSX-V-listed Aldridge Minerals’ flagship Yenipazar polymetallic project, in Turkey; the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s renewal of Cameco’s uranium mining licence pertaining to the Cigar Lake...
This Week's Magazine
Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA) has introduced a 4x2 derivative of its Pajero Sport sports-utility vehicle (SUV), which will give it access to a substantial slice of the full-size SUV market, where it will compete with the likes of the Ford Everest, Chevrolet...
South African Energy Minister Ben Martins has affirmed that the government wants the country to be globally competitive in the nuclear sector. "Our responsibility has always been ... to ensure that, in nuclear energy, South Africa can compete with the rest of the...
Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) president and CEO Dr Martin Zimmermann describes the new S-Class as “a special place to be”, with the car creating a sense of “wellness” once you are seated inside the German brand’s flagship model. It is difficult to argue...
Water scarcity and water-quality issues are broadly recognised and understood in most political, business and civil organisations in South Africa, but solving water issues will require wide and continuous action in catchments and municipalities by organisations and...
Work is well under way on the R212-million Imvutshane dam, 30 km north-west of Stanger, in KwaZulu-Natal, which is a key link in supplying people in rural Maphumulo with a reliable source of safe drinking water.