Illovo aims for energy self-sufficiency in 3 to 5 years

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JSE-listed Illovo Sugar aims to move towards achieving self-sufficiency in electricity generation, as it increases its use of renewable energy, the sugar producer said on Wednesday.

GM Graham Clark tells Engineering News Online that with ongoing initiatives and capital investments, the group hopes to reach self-sufficiency within the next three to five years.

For the 2011 financial year, the group used 10.109 GWh of electricity for production. Currently, about 89% of the group’s energy requirements are generated from renewable resources, and the company hopes to export surplus power into the national grid in future.

Ilovo said the Ubombo factory expansion and power cogeneration project, which it commissioned in Swaziland, in April, would provide a model for future sugar cane development in Africa.

The sugar producer has started the export of electricity to the national grid in Swaziland and said that the to-date volumes were already more than the yearly minimum contractual commitment.

The ability to generate and export surplus power to national grids on a commercial basis from Ubombo could be applied in other existing or new countries of operation.

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