10 September 2019

In anticipation of rising energy costs and the
challenge of sustainable supply across Africa, regional cement maker PPC is
considering implementing solar photovoltaic (PV) at its factories starting with
its factories in Bulawayo and Colleen Bawn (West Nicholson).

In its
2019 environment and energy supplementary report, PPC said due to rising energy
costs and intermittent power supplies, especially in Zimbabwe, it was
considering investing in solar energy.

“In an
effort to increase our usage of renewable energy, and to align with our energy
policy, we have conducted a concept evaluation. This involved investigating
solar projects by requesting proposals across our operations,” the report reads
in part.

“Based on
the outcomes of the initial study, PPC decided to prioritise a feasibility
study for implementation of solar photovoltaic (PV) at the Bulawayo and Colleen
Bawn factories in Zimbabwe,” it further reads.

is currently experiencing its most severe power crisis in decades, with
manufacturing companies and households going for up to 18 hours a day without
electricity, putting the Zimbabwe’s economy at risk of total collapse.

acknowledged the risk of rising energy costs and the challenge of sustainable
supply across Africa, both in South Africa and internationally.

“As part
of our energy strategy, we conducted a feasibility study into the use of solar
PV power to supplement a portion of the downstream feeders that are supplying
reliable and stable power to the essential sections within our operations for
the electricity supply requirements in PPC Zimbabwe,” the group said.

PPC said
it was in the process of installing smart meters at its international
operations and it has completed installations at its Bulawayo and Colleen Bawn

“Subsequent to this installation, our Bulawayo plant accurately measured its energy consumption and, after monitoring the maximum demand, was able to respond by shifting loads during peak periods to realise cost savings,” the report reads.

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