Electronics company Philips says its Lesotho joint venture has supplied more than one-million Southern African produced energy saving compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulbs to power utility Eskom as part of a new tender.
The new 14-W light bulbs were being distributed as part of a major energy efficiency drive throughout the country and would assist in reducing energy consumption for lighting by 80% compared with incandescent light bulbs and also save South Africans money.
The energy-saving bulbs, which comply with strict European Union environmental standards, have already been delivered to Eskom, and delivery to other countries in the region would follow.
The plant, which opened in March 2009, is a joint venture between Philips, the Central Energy Fund and Karebo Systems, and was developed as a result of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Developments mission to seek new business activities to fuel economic growth in the region. This was further supported by Philips’ ongoing investment into the Southern African region and the company’s drive to increase the uptake of energy-efficient light bulbs.
The increasing requirement for power in the region has become a critical challenge, which the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) was trying to address. The SAPP embarked on a regional energy efficiency programme, and one of the components of the programme was the replacement of incandescent bulbs with CFLs.
The plant was built for the Southern African region to help with the challenge that the region faces.
“Through the opening of our Lesotho operation, we are able to deliver high-quality energy saving light bulbs to the region. This is good for Southern African jobs, our economy and the environment and fits perfectly with Philips aim to simply enhance life with light,” said Philips Lighting Southern Africa GM Jeroen Janssen.
The market for energy-saving lighting in South Africa was said to be growing rapidly and was expected to accelerate even further as the government implemented its energy saving policies and its stated intention of replacing 80% of all incandescent light bulbs within the next four to six years.
Locally produced energy saving light bulbs would help speed up this process while boosting jobs and the economy in Lesotho.
“Globally, Philips is committed to developing and supporting sustainable products which make it easier to save energy and reduce the effects of climate change. This commitment extends to South Africa, where we have incorporated best practice to support the ongoing drive for energy savings,” concluded Janssen.