Owing to the ability of its boiler room that produces steam for the printing process, printing company Paarl Media’s specialised printing division Paarl Media Cape is achieving about 85% to 90% energy efficiency as a result of its new biomass steam plant.
The biomass steam plant was installed at Paarl Media Cape’s premises in November last year by Cape Town-based renewable-energy heating solutions company Sustainable Heating, which owns and manages the plant. The company sells the steam output to Paarl Media Cape for its print manufacturing.
Paarl Media is the print division of print and manufacturing company Novus Holdings.
“We pride ourselves on our environmentally sound business practices focused on delivering the highest quality work with the least impact on the environment,” says Novus Holdings sales group executive Peter Metcalfe.
He says Novus Holdings’ business is practised in a sustainable way and takes 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 price inflation, while working towards creating a neutral carbon footprint in developing steam for our gravure press,” Metcalfe elaborates.
Sustainable Heating founder Paul Gorremans says the plant operates on woodchips as opposed to fuel or paraffin and that Paarl Media Cape will see around 218 000 t of carbon reduction over 15 years.
He adds that the installation at Paarl Media Cape took 17 weeks from inception to completion.
“It was a team effort, at one point there were 120 workers per day on the construction site to complete the facility,” Gorremans notes.
He adds that Sustainable Heating, which is funded by industrial projects financier the Industrial Development Corporation and specialist fund manager Mergence, has long-term agreements with sawmills, pallet factories and manufacturers to provide the company with wood offcuts.
“We have a strong untreated wood supply and the efficiency of our machines keep the emissions at their lowest. The wood ash produced by the plant can also be easily reused to make bricks and is acceptable for composting,” he explains.
The installation project created more than 12 permanent jobs, such as boiler artisans and operators, general helpers, drivers and waste handlers. In addition, each installation supports local entrepreneurs in various fields ranging from waste handling to engineering, Gorremans says.
“As with all its steam plants, this new plant is controlled remotely from a computer or laptop. This enables our team to attend to any problem, anytime, anywhere,” he concludes.