Jun 22, 2012
Aquifer seen as sustainable long-term source for Gauteng bottling plantBack
Construction|Engineering|Building|Coca Cola|Design|Filtration|Lighting|Sustainable|System|Testing|Water|Gauteng Plant Mike Jacobs|Energy|Energy Efficient Lighting|Energy Targets|Energy Use|Energy-saving Measures|Heidelberg Aquifer|Environmental|Mike Jacobs|Power|Water|Insulation
© 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 (150 word limit)
Other News This Week News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in 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...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 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.
This Week's Magazine
Mercedes-Benz will launch ten plug-in hybrid models by 2017, says the German automaker’s parent company, Daimler. Following the launch of the S 500 plug-in hybrid, March saw the introduction of the C 350 e, the second model to feature the drive-train concept. Under...
Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson's recent unveiling of something of a road map for an upscaled and accelerated deployment of independent power producer (IPP) capacity has been widely welcomed. Besides plans to accelerate and expand the hitherto successful...
South African Airways (SAA) acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout has firmly denied reports that a stake in the airline was going to be sold to Air China. “Categorically, SAA is not in any talks with any airline to sell itself at the moment,” he stated at a media briefing at...
Russian State-owned nuclear group Rosatom has confirmed that it is in talks with Nigeria about the construction of nuclear power plants (NPPs) in that country, but has denied that any agreement has been signed. This follows a recent report in the Nigerian media that...
Gas products and services company Afrox has launched a pilot programme to deliver its range of Handigas liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to domestic consumers to fill a gap in the market, thereby expanding its direct contact with end-users.