- A R135 million investment in the energy sector which was unveiled at the South African Investment Conference in April this year is making an impact and promising to transform the energy industry while also empowering communities.
These were the words of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the energy company, Ener-G-Africa, Andre Moolman.
“We have harnessed the power of this investment to launch an energy-efficient cook stove manufacturing line in Paarl, and expand our existing solar panel production line in Cape Town from 15MW to a remarkable 500MW capacity.
“The 500MW facility will be the largest solar panel assembly plant in Africa, creating South African job opportunities and value addition through advanced manufacturing. In addition to helping reduce the impact of load shedding through domestic sales, Ener-G-Africa will also export to the rest of the continent,” said Moolman.
The company pledged R135 million in the production of small solar PV panels and solar cooking appliances at their women-led production facility in Cape Town at the fifth South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC) held at the Sandton Convention Centre in April.
In a statement issued by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) on Thursday, Moolman said the company’s innovative manufacturing processes encompasses three types of advanced biomass stoves.
These are the Mafecs, the Baldwin, and the Fab Stove which are all meticulously crafted from stainless steel. The stoves are designed in-house to reduce fuel consumption, produce minimal harmful emissions, and enhance cooking efficiency.
He said the manufacturing line for the energy-efficient cook stoves has already commenced, and the expansion of the solar plant is expected to be completed in the third or fourth quarter of 2024.
“Our cook stoves have undergone successful trials among local communities, with incentives available for households wishing to purchase the stoves, thanks to a carbon financed cook stove programme.
“One of our most significant manufacturing impact is the generation of employment opportunities for both skilled and unskilled individuals within the local communities. The use of these stoves and solar panels significantly reduces household living costs by cutting fuel expenses, thus improving lives by providing access to affordable energy solutions.”
He explained that the adoption of Ener-G-Africa’s stoves in rural areas is contributing to a substantial reduction in deforestation, as they use 65% less wood or biomass pellets.
The sales of these products are set to stimulate the economy through local shops, agents, and employees who benefit from commission-based sales incentives.
“The commitment to sustainability and local empowerment is further evident in Ener-G-Africa’s approach to reducing reliance on imported goods. Our company’s most noteworthy milestone is having supplied rocket stoves to over four million households across 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Additionally, we are home to a female only workforce in small solar panel production facility in sub-Saharan Africa, setting an inspiring example for the industry,” Moolman said.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal