Clover's Queensburgh factory
Energy solutions company Energy Partners has constructed a R360-million integrated refrigeration, power and steam plant at dairy company Clover South Africa's Queensburgh factory, which it will operate and maintain over the next 20 years.
"Servitisation, whereby clients pay for a service rather than the equipment itself, means that Clover will only pay a fee per unit of the refrigeration and steam it uses, enabling the dairy company to lower its operational costs by as much as R792-million over the period of the agreement," says Energy Partners CEO Manie de Waal.
The model highlights an opportunity for commercial and industrial businesses to increase their bottom line while decreasing operational costs and risks in a very challenging economic environment.
“South Africa’s limited and unstable power supply is now a medium-term certainty. More than just electrical power, it is absolutely critical to identify opportunities across the total energy ecosystem, such as refrigeration and steam supply, whereby capital can be preserved, efficiency increased and costs reduced,” he avers.
With Energy Partners assuming the capital cost of the project, Clover is able to further invest in Project Sencillo – its five-year, multi-phased plan targeting the improved utilisation and efficiency of company assets and processes.
“This removal of upfront investment, together with the fact that we have access to a modern, automated plant that Energy Partners has committed to guaranteed uptime and efficiency in line with industry standards, has resulted in lower operational costs and ensures that Clover is at the forefront of efficient and sustainable technology,” said Clover product technology and technical services group manager Anton Pretorius.
Critically, Clover's servitisation agreement has secured the mega-factory a reliable supply of refrigeration and steam, with cooling efficiency alone increasing by 40%. It will also avoid 132-million tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the 20-year term, he noted.
Energy Partners built a new ammonia cooling plant within the existing plant room, a 1 180 m2 boiler house and a 1.6 MW solar system over 18 months, while Clover experienced minimal interruptions to operations, De Waal outlines.
“Servitisation builds operational agility, improves profitability, minimises waste and achieves resource efficiency. Our servitisation model includes 100% investment, design, construction and utility management across power, refrigeration and steam assets,” he notes.