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Autocast to benefit from renewables deal with Etana Energy

Etana CEO Evan Rice

Etana CEO Evan Rice

2nd April 2024

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer

     

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Cast and machined components supplier Autocast South Africa is the first of more than 30 of Nelson Mandela Bay’s largest electricity users to benefit from a renewable power supply deal with electricity trading company Etana Energy.

“This was borne out of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber’s (NMBBC) Renewable Energy Cluster, which brought together some of the highest energy users in the Bay around two years ago to find a common solution for procuring clean power. After going through a rigorous selection process, Etana Energy was selected as the preferred renewable electricity supplier.

“The chamber has adopted the cluster approach to enable the Bay’s businesses to combine resources to develop and implement solutions for a range of issues - from energy through to water and sanitation, among other aspects that affect the business environment,” says NMBBC CEO Denise van Huyssteen.

“This cluster approach is an example of how electricity traders and their business customers can help address South Africa’s electricity crisis and simultaneously deliver real value for their shareholders,” adds Etana director Reyburn Hendricks.

Etana Energy signs long-term agreements with independent power producers (IPPs), providing the IPPs the base to finance the construction of renewable power plants. It then aggregates, markets and sells the generated electricity to commercial and industrial customers based on their load profile and their specific needs.

Power reaches customers such as Autocast South Africa through wheeling – a process where electricity traded between private parties is transported across State-owned utility Eskom’s grid from where it is generated to end-users.

Etana’s generation portfolio consists of wind and solar generation, and covers a much higher percentage of customers’ electricity demand than solar would supply on its own, the company says.

"Recognising South Africa’s challenges with electricity generation and the decarbonisation imperative, Autocast has partnered with Etana to access clean, cost-effective wind-powered energy. This aligns with our sustainability goals, reduces our environmental footprint, and ensures predictable energy costs providing long-term stability,” says Autocast executive director David Mertens.

“The Autocast transaction would not be possible without the commitment and support of the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality which reflects the city’s longstanding visionary approach to energy. Our positive experience with the municipal leadership in the Nelson Mandela Bay is a reminder of how much can be done if we work together.

“The NMBBC has demonstrated how businesses in one geographic area can come together to find a solution that benefits them all, by leveraging their collective scale to make them attractive to an energy trader. Through this initiative, NMBBC is ensuring its members can thrive despite the current challenges in the electricity sector. When that happens, everyone wins,” says Etana CEO Evan Rice.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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