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SA company helps set up defence plant in Saudi Arabia

South African defence company Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has helped set up a munitions manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia in a venture with that country’s Military Industries Corporation (MIC), the Saudi Press Agency has reported. According to MIC head Mohammad Almadhi the establishment of the plant cost some $240-million and it was built under licence from, and with the assistance of, RDM. The new factory was opened on March 27 by South African President Jacob Zuma and by  Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

(Prince Mohammed is also his country’s Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the MIC). The facility is located at Al-Kharj, in central Saudi Arabia, south of the capital, Riyadh.

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The plant will manufacture 60 mm, 81 mm and 120 mm mortar bombs, 105 mm and 155 mm artillery shells and aircraft bombs ranging from 226 kg (500 lb) to 907 kg (2 000 lb). It is composed of nine industrial buildings, each with its own specific function, including heat treatments and surface treatments, assembly and filling, processing, packaging, destructive and nondestructive testing. According to Almadhi, the factory has a production capacity of 300 artillery shells or 600 mortar bombs a day.

It will be staffed by 130 engineers and operators. He further noted that his company was now able to make many different defence products. RDM is a joint venture between German defence group Rheinmetall Waffe Munition and South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel and was created in 2008. Rheinmetall holds 51% of RDM and Denel the remaining 49%. RDM describes itself on its website as a company that “specialises in the development, design and manufacture of large- and medium-calibre ammunition families and is a world leader in the field of artillery, mortar and infantry systems as well as plant engineering”.

The Middle East is one of its target markets.

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Source: engineeringnews


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Arcelormittal South Africa appoints a new CEO

Arcelormittal South Africa Limited’s Board of Directors have approved the appointment of Wim de Klerk as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Board with effect from 1 September 2016.

De Klerk holds a Bachelors of Accountancy degree (Honours) from the University of Pretoria, an Executive Management Diploma from Darden as well as a Strategic Marketing Diploma from Harvard. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant (South Africa).

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His current position is that of Finance Director and Executive Director of Exxaro Resources Limited, a position he held since 2008.
He has over 30 years working experience in the audit, tax, steel, titanium (TiO2) and mining industries, having spent the last 15 years in various executive positions at both Kumba Resources and Exxaro Resources. Prior to this Wim worked at Iscor where he managed Iscor Quarries and the Grootegeluk mine.  He became a member of the executive team as Group General Manager: Strategy and Continuous Improvement in 1999.
De Klerk is well qualified and has the necessary experience and understanding of the steel industry to fulfill the role of Chief Executive Officer at ArcelorMittal South Africa Limited effectively.
The Board congratulated de Klerk on his appointment and looks forward to his contribution.
ArcelorMittal South Africa is a JSE listed multinational steel manufacturing corporation company with operations in South Africa.

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Source: africanmining


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New train manufacturing site in South Africa to deliver 3,480 coaches over next decade

Developers Alstom have claimed its new train manufacturing site will deliver 3,840 coaches over the next ten years

The 60,000 sqm site in the town of Dunnotar, close to Johannesburg, is currently under construction through the developer’s joint venture company Gibela.

Construction of its new manufacturing site which began on 4 March, is in order to build 580 suburban trains for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).

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Its site was opened in the presence of the South African Minister of Transport, Minister Dipuo Peters, the executive Mayor of the local Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, Mondli Gungubeleand, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Alstom chairman and CEO and Mr Marc Granger, Gibela chief executive Officer.

Building is expected to take 18 months and will be delivered in phases, with the very first South African-manufactured train to be completed by the end of 2017.

Alstom claim around 1,500 people will be employed at the manufacturing, assembly and testing facilities.

They say the site will include an academic training centre, large workshops, office buildings, as well as a test track and test facility required for the new trains.

Alstom Chairman and CEO Henri Poupart Lafarge said Alstom was pleased to have reached another milestone for the project.

He added, “This new factory will be a catalyst for the revitalisation of the rail industry in South Africa through local manufacturing, high local supply level, employment creation and skills development. Alstom is proud to be involved in this new era of rail in the country”.

Alstom has been present in South Africa for many years and was awarded a PRASA contract worth around US$4.3 bn in October 2013, the largest contract in the history of the company.

The contract also includes a 19-year service agreement.

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Source: africanreview


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South African manufacturing sector on the rise

Manufacturing output improved for the month of September, based on data released by Stats SA today, showing manufacturing production increasing slightly by 0.9% but the industry still faces a number of challenges, according to Modise Makhene, principal at Odgers Berndtson Sub-Saharan Africa.

“The manufacturing sector in South Africa is at a crossroads and it is time for the country to reassess its strategy and take advantage of the opportunities available. For years, the industry has been in a state of decline, facing challenges around productivity, costs, labour issues, skills shortages, efficiency and new technology,” says Makhene.

While petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products and food and beverages were the largest positive contributions for September 2015, South Africa’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index has averaged 49.7 in the first 10 months of 2015, indicative of a struggling economy as any reading below 50 reflects contraction.

To bolster GDP contribution from the sector, currently on 14%, leaders need to overcome some fundamental challenges. These include low productivity, compared to international competitors, such as China and Germany; high input costs, especially labour costs and efficiency, which render the South African manufacturing sector uncompetitive; a lack of alignment between government and the manufacturing sector on how to promote growth in the industry and most pressingly, a shortage of skills at all levels in the manufacturing industry.

“The biggest shift that leaders in the manufacturing sector are dealing with is the move globally from traditional manufacturing practices, which were labour intensive and required low technology to models embracing the latest technological – especially digital – advances,” explains Makhene.

“These new models require skill sets which are in short supply in the manufacturing sector. Technological transformation is where industry leaders can overcome the hurdles they currently face and work towards becoming a manufacturing hub on the continent.”

In order to meet the National Development Plan targets by 2030, South Africa needs to increase the training of artisans by producing 30 000 artisans a year. At present, the country produces 13 000 artisans a year across all trades, and 72% of these are trained by private institutions

“South African manufacturers also need to take full advantage of the opportunities available to them on the rest of the continent, especially in countries with relatively undeveloped manufacturing sectors, but with high demand for manufactured products. Given the country’s geographic location, South Africa is in the ideal position to develop into a regional manufacturing hub,” says Makhene.

Source: biznisafrica


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MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Program for Africans

MasterCard Foundation
Bachelors/Masters/PhD Degree

Deadline: Jan-July 2016
Study in: USA & Africa
Course starts September 2016

Brief description:

The vision of The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program is to educate and develop academically qualified yet economically disadvantaged young people in Africa who will contribute to the transformation of the continent. This $500 million program will provide students in secondary school and university with the knowledge and leadership skills needed to contribute to economic and social progress across Africa.

Host Institution(s):

The following universities/institutions were selected for their commitment to academic excellence, nurturing environments, and programs relevant to growth sectors in Africa, such as manufacturing, telecommunications, banking, and agriculture:

•  African Leadership Academy, South Africa
•  Ashesi University, Ghana
•  American University of Beirut, USA
•  Arizona State University, USA
•  Camfed , USA
•  Brac, Uganda
•  Duke University, USA
•  Earth University, Costa Rica
•  Forum for African Women Educationalists, Kenya
•  Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
•  Makerere University, Uganda
•  McGill University, Canada
•  Michigan State University, USA
•  Stanford University, USA
•  University of British Columbia, Canada
•  University of California, Berkeley, USA
•  University of Pretoria, South Africa
•  University of Toronto, Canada
•   Wellesley College, USA
•   University of Cape Town, South Africa

Field(s) of study:

Approved fields of studies offered by participating Universities/Institutions.  See the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship pages of the Universities/Institutions above.

Number of Scholarships:

The Scholarship Programs aims to give out $500 million worth of scholarships to 15,000 African students in 10 years.

Target group:

Citizens of Sub-Saharan Africa

Scholarship value/inclusions:

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program is designed to provide students with holistic support, including:

Comprehensive Scholarships:  Students receive financial support for fees, uniforms, books and supplies, transportation, accommodation, and stipends.

21st Century Skill Building: Students benefit from enrichment in skill areas relevant to employment success, such as critical thinking, communications, and entrepreneurship.

Transition Support: Students will receive support during their transition into secondary school, university or the workforce with mentoring, career counseling, internships, leadership development, and other life skills coaching.

Give-back Component: An integral component of the Program is the commitment from the Scholars to give back to their communities and countries of origin. Students will demonstrate this commitment through volunteerism and community service, as well as other forms of experiential learning.

Alumni Network: Graduates of the Scholars Program will be connected through an alumni network that offers information, resources, and opportunities to consult with other graduates.

Eligibility:

Please check the specific eligibility criteria of the host institution/university you are interested in.

Application instructions:

Applications must be made directly to the participating university/institution of your choice. Deadline varies but is around January-July 2016.

It is important to visit the institution’s or university’s websites (see above links) and the official website (link found below) for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship.

Website:

Official Scholarship Website:  http://mastercardfdnscholars.org/

Related Scholarships: List of Development Bank Scholarships

Source: scholars4dev


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Business-like responsibility in a green and circular way

The ideas intrinsic to sustainable development, extended producer responsibility (EPR), and the circular economy directly affect organisational triple bottom line accountability.

The trick lies in juggling public accountability and the ideals of a greener economy with having the resources available to provide the goods and services needed in a country where there are still major challenges of poverty, job security and limited resources.

One example of how these ideas converge in a practical business approach along the entire value chain is the way in which the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) industry in South Africa has responded with a coherent EPR strategy.  A decade ago they created the PET Recycling Company (PETCO) as national industry body responsible for growing the collection and recycling of post-consumer used PET bottles and turning those into recycled PET (rPET) for the manufacture new products.  This is more than ‘merely’ recycling, because it puts into practice the concepts of closing the loop, or cradle to cradle manufacturing, which are by their very nature circular and link the output of a process with the input of that process. Essentially, items of a specific material are turned into new products of the same kind i.e. bottles into new bottles.

A circular economy with its intentional, planned use and re-use of resources in such a way that there is no (or limited) material loss, requires integrated thinking and action – from design, through manufacturing, logistics, marketing and post-consumer recycling. To return to the PET example: with its activities funded by a voluntary recycling levy paid by industry, PETCO contracts and finances PET recyclers who collect bottles and process them into rPET for the manufacture of new products such as polyester staple fibre and filament and resin for use in packaging and even new bottles.

The PET industry has been closing the loop since 2009, recycling PET into both food grade and non-food grade PET for use in sandwich cartons, juice bottles and washing-up liquids. However, most of South Africa’s future end-use market growth will be in the Bottle-to-Bottle (B2B) market, with significant investments by members of the industry to install world-class facilities. Extrupet have expanded their Phoenix plant to incorporate the first Coca-Cola approved B2B technology in Africa.

The new facility will supply an additional 14 000 tonnes of PET resin per year to the PET packaging industry and divert an additional 22 000 tonnes of post-consumer PET bottles per annum from landfills. Likewise, Mpact Polymer’s B2B plant is due to come into production towards the end of 2015 and process about 29 000 tonnes of PET plastic bottles a year, generating 21 000 tons of new raw material. Combined, these plants will save about 76 500 tonnes of carbon and 316 200 cubic metres of landfill space and prevent approximately 1.6 billion bottles going to landfill.

First for Africa

These facilities are significant on a continent-wide basis. PETCO Chairman and Franchise Technical Director of Coca-Cola South Africa, Casper Durandt, expressed his delight that that South-Africa will be the first African country to use recycled PET back into new bottles for carbonated soft drinks and turn the B2B approach into reality: ‘The recycling of plastic bottles improves our carbon footprint, and prevents senseless landfilling of a valuable resource such as PET.’

Bruce Strong, CEO of Mpact Polymers, adds that the entry into plastic recycling is an exciting opportunity for them and that it will ‘add an important dimension to our business. It is an excellent fit with our strategy and will enhance our position as a leading beneficiator of recyclables in South Africa.’

Beverage packaging users and producers have probably been one of the longest proponents of circular thinking for their products and processes. Starting with the introduction of refillable bottles 120 years ago, lightweighting, and introducing recyclable bottles and those that contain recycled material nowadays.

PETCO’s CEO Cheri Scholtz also believes the local value chain may be rightly proud of closing the manufacturing loop in this significant market. She points out that recycling rates grew from 16% in 2005 to 49% in 2014, with the milestone rate of 50% likely to be reached this year, and an ambitious target set of 70% by 2022. In terms of international standards, South Africa is catching up to Europe (which is currently nearing 60%), and is ahead of the USA, (which was at 31% in 2013).

The reduced resource consumption by the local PET industry saved 96 771 tonnes of carbon and 400 000 m of landfill space during the past decade. PETCO’s contracted partners who collect and purchase post-consumer PET on a nationwide basis are   Extrupet, FTE Production,  Kaytech, Mpact Polymers, Propet,  SAFrePET, and   Sen Li Da. In 2014 R250m was paid to collectors, and they generated R527m of value back into the economy.

Very important is the way in which the EPR of the PET industry contributes to poverty alleviation and job creation:  with 31 collection project partners across nine provinces, PETCO’s activities help to sustain 1191 permanent jobs, while providing around 44 000 sustainable income opportunities through bottle collection.

It is encouraging seeing such an example of the circular economic philosophy successfully at work and striving to do even better.

Source: timeslive


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How cheap can solar get? Very cheap indeed

If current rates of improvement hold, solar power will be incredibly cheap by the time it’s a substantial fraction of the world’s electricity supply, writes famous author and thinker Ramez Naam. According to Naam, electricity cost is from now on coupled to the ever-decreasing price of technology. That is profoundly deflationary and disruptive.

It’s now fairly common knowledge that the cost of solar modules is dropping exponentially. I helped publicize that fact in a 2011 Scientific American blog post asking “Does Moore’s Law Apply to Solar Cells?” The answer is that something like Moore’s law, an exponential learning curve (albeit slower than in computing) applies. (For those that think Moore’s Law is a terrible analogy, here’s my post on why Moore’s Law is an excellent analogy for solar.)

 Solar electricity cost, not solar module cost, is key

But module prices now make up less than half of the price of complete solar deployments at the utility scale. The bulk of the price of solar is so-called “soft costs” – the DC->AC inverter, the labor to install the panels, the glass and aluminum used to cover and prop them up, the interconnection to the grid, etc.  Solar module costs are now just one component in a more important question: What’s the trend in cost reduction of solar electricity? And what does that predict for the future?

Let’s look at some data.  Here are cost of solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) signed in the US over the last several years. PPAs are contracts to sell electricity, in this case from solar photovoltaic plants, at a pre-determined price. Most utility-scale solar installations happen with a PPA.

In the US, the price embedded in solar PPAs has dropped over the last 7-8 years from around $200 / MWh (or 20 cents / kwh) to a low of around $40 / MWh (or 4 cents per kwh).

C1

The chart and data are from an excellent Lawrence Berkeley National Labs study, Is $50/MWh Solar for Real? Falling Project Prices and Rising Capacity Factors Drive Utility-Scale PV Toward Economic Competitiveness

This chart depicts a trend in time. The other way to look at this is by looking at the price of solar electricity vs how much has been installed. That’s a “learning rate” view, which draws on the observation that in industry after industry, each doubling of cumulative capacity tends to reduce prices by a predictable rate. In solar PV modules, the learning rate appears to be about 20%. In solar electricity generated from whole systems, we get the below:

C2

 

This is a ~16% learning rate, meaning that every doubling of utility-scale solar capacity in the US leads to a roughly 16% reduction in the cost of electricity from new solar installations. If anything, the rate in recent years appears to be faster than 16%, but we’ll use 16% as an estimate of the long term rate.

Every industrial product and activity gets cheap

This phenomenon of lower prices as an industry scales is hardly unique to solar. For instance, here’s a view of the price of the Ford Model T as production scaled.

 

 

c3

Like solar electricity (and a host of other products and activities), the Model T shows a steady decline in price (on a log scale) as manufacturing increased (also on a log scale).

The future of solar prices – if trends hold

The most important, question, for solar, is what will future prices be? Any projection here has to be seen as just that – a projection. Not reality. History is filled with trends that reached their natural limits and stalled. Learning rates are a crude way to model the complexities involved in lowering costs. Things could deviate substantially from this trendline.

That said, if the trend in solar pricing holds, here’s what it shows for future solar prices, without subsidies, as a function of scale.

c4

Again, these are unsubsidized prices, ranging from solar in extremely sunny areas (the gold line) to solar in more typical locations in the US, China, India, and Southern Europe (the green line).

What this graph shows is that, if solar electricity continues its current learning rate, by the time solar capacity triples to 600GW (by 2020 or 2021, as a rough estimate), we should see unsubsidized solar prices of roughly 4.5 c / kwh for very sunny places (the US southwest, the Middle East, Australia, parts of India, parts of Latin America), ranging up to 6.5 c / kwh for more moderately sunny areas (almost all of India, large swaths of the US and China, southern and central Europe, almost all of Latin America).

And beyond that, by the time solar scale has doubled 4 more times, to the equivalent of 16% of today’s electricity demand (and somewhat less of future demand), we should see solar at 3 cents per kwh in the sunniest areas, and 4.5 cents per kwh in moderately sunny areas.

If this holds, solar will cost less than half what new coal or natural gas electricity cost, even without factoring in the cost of air pollution and carbon pollution emitted by fossil fuel power plants.

As crazy as this projection sounds, it’s not unique. The IEA (International Energy Agency), in one of its scenarios, projects 4 cent per kwh solar by mid century.

Fraunhofer ISE, the German research institute, goes farther, predicting solar as cheap as 2 euro cents per kwh in the sunniest parts of Europe by 2050.

Obviously, quite a bit can happen between now and then. But the meta-observation is this: Electricity cost is now coupled to the ever-decreasing price of technology. That is profoundly deflationary. It’s profoundly disruptive to other electricity-generating technologies and businesses. And it’s good news for both people and the planet.

Is it good enough news? In next few weeks I’ll look at the future prospects of wind, of energy storage, and, finally, at what parts of the decarbonization puzzle are missing.

Source: reneweconomy


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How to make South Africa less energy hungry

South Africa’s energy sector has faced a crisis since 2008, marked by power cuts, high tariffs and a general inability to match supply and demand.This has led to a dismal picture being painted about the future of the country’s energy supply and its impact on economic growth.It is imperative that a solution is found to the current difficult situation. This is because energy plays a vital role in the growth and development of a country.

A priority for policymakers since the end of apartheid 1994 has been to provide energy to everyone. Since this target has nearly been achieved, the attention is shifting to the intensity of electricity use in South Africa.

What will it take to achieve greater efficiency?

There are three key areas that can lead South Africa towards greater energy efficiency, as well as reductions in carbon emissions. These are:

technological innovations for energy efficiency;
changing the energy supply mix; and
promoting structural changes in the economy.
All these can be combined in national energy policies and strategies, but they differ in two points: the time horizon of the results and the risk of outcomes.

The introduction of technological innovations that can achieve higher energy efficiency levels depends heavily on the availability and cost of the innovations. It also depends on the receptiveness in sectors where they will be adopted.

Changing South Africa’s energy supply mix won’t be easy because of the abundance of coal. In addition, and possibly more importantly, the state-owned power utility Eskom’s fleet of power stations runs mostly on coal.

When energy was plentiful and cheap, South Africa pumped huge incentives towards energy-heavy sectors such as manufacturing.
Equally, the sectors which drive the economy are energy intensive. They are also important sources of employment, investment and income. Historically the country primarily promoted mega industries that use a lot of energy and are capital-intensive. Until 2008-09, South Africa’s comparatively low industrial electricity tariffs attracted significant investments in traditionally energy-intensive sectors such as mining and manufacturing.

These industries are inflexible and slow to change. For example, once a major investment has been made in the construction of a smelter, opportunities to change to more energy efficient technology or production process are limited.

The government appreciates the need to reduce the energy intensity of the economy over the long term. This year’s budget made specific mention of the need to promote growth in tradeable and services sectors that consume less electricity per unit of output.

But it will take more to bring about any meaningful change. To achieve the shift in the economy without affecting output and production, economic and industrial policies should be combined with efforts from energy policymakers.

Government has suggested the need for promoting growth in tradable and services sectors that consume less electricity per unit of output.
It would be helpful to adjust the incentives and tariffs that attract energy-intensive investments. Incentives should be directed to low-emission and low-intensity sectors. By lowering the cost of energy, input costs would come down and South African exports could achieve greater competitiveness.

Admittedly, the trade-off and eventual balance is difficult and requires financial and political support from various stakeholders. Of critical importance is the co-ordination of various policies. A concerted effort should be made by all government departments involved with South Africa’s economic sectors. This can only be achieved by all inclusive debate and design over time.

The transition from a resource-based economy to a knowledge, service and quality of human capital based economy requires information, education and research and development.

Any new strategy therefore needs to include investment in research activities that will show the way to innovative solutions. Areas to be explored could include structural changes in the economy as well as more efficient ways to consume energy.

In this transition, South Africa should also investigate alternative fuels that will make even the high energy intensive sector’s consumption cleaner and more environmental friendly. For this, a properly planned, organised, managed and monitored market for renewable energies needs to be put in place.

This needs to be combined with a comprehensive policy to provide consumers with alternatives to “dirty” fossil fuel-based energy.

Instead of penalising heavy users of electricity such as mines government should incentivise them to become energy efficient.
Finally, how else can this transition be promoted? There is one thing that all sectors, industries and firms are interested in – economic gain and profits. Instead of penalising intensive users, which happens with a carbon tax, an alternative would be to incentivise them.

This could be done by introducing a reward programme, such as an emissions trading system, or, even more suitable to South Africa, an energy-intensity trading scheme.

By trading credits of energy intensive use, the sectoral users would aim to reduce their energy consumption as well as trade their credits for additional profits.

South Africa is a unique case with a number of inherited socioeconomic challenges and difficulties. But its energy policymakers have started aiming at more fundamental changes rather than the recent short-term solutions.

Structural economic changes and an effort to shift the economy to sectors with lower energy consumption and a smaller footprint will certainly take more time, and even more funding, to bear positive results. But the impact will be more permanent and sustainable.

Source: businesstech


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MAKE THE ENVIRONMENTAL CHOICE WITH BELGOTEX

Belgotex Floors’ recently released their Sustainability Report detailing their ongoing ‘Green Journey’ to ensure a greener tomorrow for all its stakeholders.

Although their growing “Eco collection” of carpets, backings and underlays contributes towards green design, Belgotex’s focus is more on resource efficiency and cleaner production than just producing a range of green materials.

Belgotex is cognisant of the fact that floorcoverings (carpets) can have a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of humans and the environment and therefore it designs and develops floorcoverings under the following sustainable guidelines:

  • Extending the life of an existing product through responsible manufacturing techniques and processes.
  • Developing products that can be reworked in their existing form.
  • Using raw materials that can be recycled at the end of their useful aesthetic life.
  • Using recycled content whenever it is both economically and environmentally feasible.

Certified to ISO14001 standards, the company produces a range of flooring products that satisfy criteria for both GBCSA- Materials credits [EMS, recycled content, and

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product stewardship], as well as for Indoor Environment Quality credits [by meeting the strict requirements for volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.] In their continued efforts to improve their production processes and products Belgotex centres its operations based on the 3 pillars of sustainability (environmental, social and economic) and it is here where the greatest gains in terms of sustainability are being made.

“At Belgotex, sustainability extends way beyond mere environmental management and traditional recycling,” comments Kevin Walsh, Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Belgotex.

Bel 2Under his watchful guard, Belgotex developed a policy that addresses resource efficiency and cleaner production against environmental imperatives and product responsibility.

“Our main goal is to operate a green factory wherever economically and environmentally feasible,” he explains.

Careful examination of their operations identified the use of raw materials, energy management, carbon management, water management and air quality as having significant considerations.

Analysis of the use of natural resources in their manufacturing operations, as well as the energy used for that production results in continuous investment in new technology to enhance existing products and develop new ones. These upgrades have reduced energy and/or raw material consumption, without any loss of productivity or quality.

Raw Materials

A number of key inputs to Belgotex’s products are derived from non-renewable fossil fuel products. To minimise the risks posed by raw material depletion and climate change, Belgotex are constantly seeking out new, more sustainable inputs and are committed to innovation within its product lines and manufacturing processes. Belgotex continues to strive to increase recycled content within its product range by implementing innovative raw material input strategies.

The raw materials for various “green” eco-products are derived from post-industrial and post-consumer waste such as Green underlay, Sportec Color rubber flooring and Grimebuster walk-off mats. The bestselling Berber Point 920 and other needlepunch ranges are made with a blend of polypropylene and recycled Eco Fibre. This Eco-fibre is manufactured using post production waste, which is re-pelletized(utilising the cutting edge Erema recycling machinery). The input of this recycled content in their production process considerably lowers the embodied energy associated with virgin raw material use.  Nexbac Eco modular tile backing, contain up to 70% post-industrial waste (fly-ash) used as a filler in the backing.

Carbon Management

Apart from the raw material supply, energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions are another major consideration, since the majority of Belgotex’s manufacturing processes are driven by fossil fuels. In an attempt to manage this risk and a potential carbon tax liability, Belgotex aims to positively manage this risk by tracking and mitigating its effects on the environment. In its 6th year of quantifying its carbon footprint, Belgotex is pleased to announce a ~ 16% reduction in its carbon footprint, due to the integrated carbon management systems implemented.

Energy Management

Belgotex incorporated a resource efficiency and cleaner production strategy that has seen the implementation of numerous initiatives that has resulted in the reduction of energy consumption by ~12%. This was achieved by amongst others, the R17 million roof-mounted solar plant that offset ~2.5% of carbon emissions, reducing them by 1386 tons per annum. A further 5% reduction target is anticipated with the possible installation of another 1MW solar plant.

Water conservation

A comprehensive water management system was implemented, reducing the factory’s water consumption by about 45% since 2009. A rain water harvesting initiative is currently being rolled out, for completion during the year. Many other water saving initiatives such as 100% solution dyed yarn production has resulted in a significant water, chemical and energy savings

Waste management

Waste minimisation programmes form part of our EMS (ISO14001). Waste is monitored and measured continuously to ensure progress targets are met.

In line with the well-known 3R’s of waste management – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – Belgotex seek to reduce inputs (for energy/resources), reuse materials and recycle waste from its operations wherever possible.

Reduce

Stackable, mobile metal crates have replaced cardboard boxes or packaging of any kind in their yarn processing operations, reducing the amount of packaging to be recycled or sent to landfills. Bulk storage silos and stretch wrap are used wherever possible to eliminate the need for raw material packaging.

Reuse

Belgotex’s Flooring Reclamation programme collects used or uplifted carpets from central collections points to be cleaned and sent to NGO’s such as KZN Wildlands for re-use and redistribution to impoverished communities in their “Green-preneur” project. Acquisition of innovative bit-winders has seen the elimination of a complete stream of waste by creating grade 1 yarn from waste creel-ends.

Recycle

The acquisition of a new R5-million Erema machine enables the company to recycle production waste back into Eco fibre which is used in the production of standard ranges. Effectively reducing their waste rates from their carpet production processes to close to zero, the Erema machine offers up to 20% energy savings, resulting in lower production costs and reduced CO2 emissions.

Indoor Air Quality

Belgotex carpets and underlays have been tested and contain no harmful volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and meet the strict requirements for the Green Building Council’s indoor environmental quality.

Rest assured, whatever floor you choose from Belgotex Floors, it will always be green.

Source: Belgotex


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South Africa launches new industrial policy

The seventh issue of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap) launched on 7 May, highlights the development of a specific support framework for black industrialists.

In terms of Ipap 2015, the Black Industrialists Development Programme will be established over the coming year. It will be aimed at promoting industrialisation, sustainable economic growth and transformation through the support of black- owned entities in the mainstream of the South African manufacturing industry and related manufacturing sectors.

Briefing reporters at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in Johannesburg at the launch, Minister Rob Davies said the government would focus on the programme.

“If we are focusing on the manufacturing sector we need to ensure that the manufacturing sector becomes much more representative of the demographics of our people, but more importantly that the manufacturing sector benefits from the

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available pool of talent from the country and the population as a whole.

“In March, the department said it would avail R1bn in support of the programme with the initial aim being to support 100 black industrialists. “Becoming an industrialist is not an easy task. It requires passion and a skills set and capabilities. What we are going to be doing is we are focusing on a particular programme which will identify and support black industrialists,” Davies said on Thursday.

Access to finance and markets

According to the document, the programme envisages implementing key measures such as access to finance, access to markets, skills development, standards, quality and productivity improvements by black manufacturing companies.

Recommendations from commissions reporting back at the Black Industrialists Indaba held in March included that a committee comprising the government, the private sector and co-opted experts be established to explore more ways to accelerate the implementation of the programme. It was also agreed that the Preferential Public Procurement Act be reviewed and that the setting of the black majority threshold be at 75% for companies qualifying for the programme.

Skills development will be placed at the core of the programme.The IPAP said that in the 2015/16 year, the programme would be designed, developed and structured. According to the document, the development of the programme would be overseen by the Department of Trade and Industry as the lead, with supporting agencies such as the IDC and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

Industrialisation in history

Davies also said the manufacturing sector played an important role in South Africa’s economy. “The manufacturing sector and value addition remain critical objectives of achieving the kinds of structural changes that are necessary to place our economy on a higher level of more inclusive growth.

“History had shown that industrialisation was a necessity. “The lessons that we’ve drawn and which is also the common understanding of the African continent, is that industrialisation is necessary because if we don’t industrialise we are trapped in the most disadvantageous place in the global division of labour as producers and exporters of primary products and as importers of finished goods.”That is the most disadvantageous position to be in because the real value in value chains lies in the parts that take place after the delivery of the primary materials.”

An important sub-theme that formed part of radical economic transformation, he said, was that the government was expected to increase the impact of industrial policy measures.”This Ipap also represents our intent to progressively upscale our industrial policy. What is clear to all of us is that this economy has not had sufficiently fast inclusive economic growth, [gross domestic product] growth has not been high enough and the growth that we’ve had has not been inclusive enough to place us in a position where we can see a significant dent in the levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment in our country,” Davies explained.

The target in the Medium Term Strategic Framework was for 5% of inclusive growth to have been delivered by the end of this term in government. The latest Ipap, as well as previous iterations, indicated the actions that different government entities needed to carry out to support industrialisation.

“What we are doing is that we are creating an environment,” said Davies. “We are creating a support package of measures; we are creating a defensive framework that will allow manufacturing activities to flourish in South Africa. That’s what it’s about.”A total of 3 384 private sector enterprises across all provinces were provided with incentive and other support in 2014 to the value of R13.6bn.

The chairman of the Manufacturing Circle, Bruce Strong, welcomed the Ipap, saying that South Africa’s growth was tied to the health of manufacturing.

Source: Cape Business News


 

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