New Nampak furnace exposes power hunger

Image courtesy stock.xchnge (bizior)

Image courtesy stock.xchnge (bizior)

The R1.2 billion third furnace that packaging company Nampak Glass has opened at its Roodekop factory is already fully subscribed despite a depressed glass market, CEO André de Ruyter said.

The development increases capacity by 56% and is 15% more energy-efficient. Energy efficiency may be improved by another 12-15% as soon as the preheating technology is implemented in the next few months, De Ruyter said.

Water consumption has been reduced to a tenth by introducing a closed system that will see water being purified and reused.

Constant power

The development includes a R150 million 18MB UPS that will stabilise electricity supply to the whole plant as well as office buildings. During power failures, the diesel-driven plant can take over power supply to the plant.

De Ruyter said the biggest risk confronting the plant is that melted glass can solidify during prolonged power failures. The cooled glass would have to be broken with jackhammers, a process that may take three to four months.

Since June, the generator had saved the company R20 million.

Vital partnership

Rob Davies, minister of trade and industry, said the industrial policy action plan stressed the importance of manufacturing, and this should be read with the infrastructure plan. “We particularly need to improve our energy infrastructure.”

Davies said Nampak does packaging in the agro processing industry and is therefore dependent on the success of this industry.

He further praised Nampak for its relationships with small businesses and its move towards energy efficiency and environmentally friendly operations.




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