Cement manufacturing giant AfriSam became the first construction materials company to sign the 49M pledge, a campaign run by Eskom to galvanize South Africans into energy saving culture.
In an announcement released yesterday Afrisam said this step signifies the company’s commitment to the global agenda for energy efficiency and to playing a proactive role in contributing to energy saving across South Africa.
Launched in March 2011, 49M is an Eskom initiative endorsed by government and business partners to encourage the South African population to embrace energy savings as a national culture and to join the global journey towards a sustainable future.
“Signing this important pledge is an endorsement of our efforts and commitment over more than a decade to improve the electrical energy efficiency of our various operations and thus reduce consumption,” Stephan Olivier, AfriSam’s CEO, says.
“In 2005 we became a signatory to the Energy Accord and in 2008 our company was named the National Business Initiative’s Energy Efficiency winner in recognition of electrical energy savings. Between 2000 and 2011, AfriSam reduced specific electrical energy consumption by 18%,” Olivier adds.
AfriSam said it has recorded several significant milestones on this journey to date, including major equipment upgrades at its operations to reduce electrical energy consumption. One of the most notable of these has been the installation of energy efficient Vertical Roller Mill at the company’s Roodepoort operation in 2008. This mill was commissioned at a 20% higher cost than conventional technology and has since achieved a 24% reduction in electrical energy consumption. Vertical roller mills are also being earmarked for installation at AfriSam’s proposed Saldanha and Coega facilities.
Olivier says the replacement of old drives with variable speed drives, wherever possible, is an ongoing activity across all operations. This initiative was introduced more than 10 years ago and has also contributed to improved energy efficiencies. More recently the company implemented a production and maintenance tool at its Ulco facility in the Northern Cape to assist with load shifting, predominantly during peak demand periods. This tool has contributed significantly to energy saving and will be implemented at the company’s other operations.
To date 49M has signed more than 70 partners. These include Santam, Spintelligent, MTN, Samsung, MassMart, Standard Bank, Nedbank, Food & Trees for Africa, Anglo Gold Ashanti, Solidarity, NUM, and all eight state-owned-companies under the portfolio of Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.