The international partnership between sawmill technology supplier Newsaw and Italy-based biomass boilers and heating solutions provider Uniconfort has resulted in power solutions, power independence and cost-effective maintenance for boiler plants in Africa.
“Since 2004, Newsaw has been watching the power crisis unfold in South Africa, and we have tried to find suppliers that will help us alleviate the power constraints that our clients face. While gasification presents itself as a common solution, it is arduous to work with and difficult to operate,” says Newsaw CEO Louis du Plessis.
However, he mentions that Uniconfort has a turnkey solution that combines steam with biomass boilers and turbines, consequently providing an affordable and custom solution.
Uniconfort is supplying a 3 t steam plant to Newsaw client Angola-based furniture company Habitec and the installation is expected to take place by March this year. The project allows the client to use its processing waste to produce the steam necessary to run its wood drying process.
“In addition to power plants and power solutions, Uniconfort also enables its clients in Africa to use waste materials to run their power plants, from waste wood to cocoa and tomato peels,” says Uniconfort area manager Gabriele Rossato.
The partnership between Newsaw and Uniconfort enables both companies to grow and expand internationally. Uniconfort has a footprint, through Newsaw, in the African market, where it can gain marketable and reputable exposure. Newsaw, in turn, can develop its skills set and services by supplying, operating and servicing Uniconfort products.
With Covid-19 restricting international travel, export and commercial relations, Newsaw and Uniconfort have managed to maintain a successful supply relationship throughout the various lockdown periods globally.
Virtual communications and collaborations were at the forefront of maintaining operations. This has enabled Newsaw to learn how to repair and operate equipment while waiting for items that were delayed at the borders.
“Newsaw is a critical service provider, so we did not stop working. We were able to provide full services for all other critical suppliers that were fully operational. The pandemic also provided us with an opportunity to expand our skills set and aid our clients during delays,” explains Du Plessis.
Moreover, Uniconfort offered virtual tours to enable clients to see how it operates. This gave clients an opportunity to interact with the company’s operations despite travel restrictions. Uniconfort also maintained constant communication with its international partners.
Uniconfort has installed more than 2 950 plants in its 70 years of experience. The company’s solutions involve biomass from wood and waste from industrial and agricultural processes and are fully customisable to meet specific client requirements.
“Newsaw is specific about the partnerships it chooses and we make sure we use only the best quality suppliers. Uniconfort meets our standards, as it provides modular components which not only meet our clients’ current needs but also allow for future growth without the need for a full replacement of equipment,” concludes Du Plessis.