News | September 12, 2023

Danone To Develop Resilient Microgrid In South Africa Anchored By Hydrogen Ready Combined Heat And Power Technology

  • Moshesh Partners has selected Clarke Energy to supply a gas fuelled combined heat and power (CHP) unit and microgrid controller for a Danone SA dairy food manufacturing plant in Boksburg.
  • The microgrid will incorporate INNIO's Jenbacher engines and microgrid controller, existing solar photovoltaic power array and diesel engine back up and will be grid connected

Johannesburg /PRNewswire/ - Moshesh Cogeneration, a special purpose vehicle owned by Moshesh Partners and backed by Rand Merchant Bank, has selected Clarke Energy to deliver a full turnkey CHP facility and microgrid controller to Danone. The microgrid project will support Danone's global commitment to Net Zero by 2050, as well as the demand for a resilient local energy solution during the current supply challenges in South Africa.

Danone's dairy product manufacturing facility in Boksburg, Gauteng runs 24/7, 365 days a year and produces a variety of dairy products like Nutriday yoghurt and Ultramel custard. In 2023 Danone reframed its sustainability goals under the Impact Journey with three key pillars, namely Health, Nature and People. Under the nature pillar the company has a clear roadmap to reach Net Zero by 2050 and this microgrid project will help to transition the facility and be key in reaching that goal.

The gas-fired power generation brings significant carbon reduction when compared to grid coal-fired power, or diesel generation. The Jenbacher CHP (combined heat and power) system also allows Danone to recover the waste heat in the form of steam and hot water, further reducing their carbon emissions. Finally, given the country wide power crisis and frequent grid failures beyond load shedding, this solution will deliver resilient power supplies and therefore maximum uptime to the 24/7 manufacturing plant. The hydrogen ready CHP solution can be converted to H2 operation as soon as sufficient supply is available.

Moshesh, as the independent power provider will own and operate the plant for a period of 20 years under a PPA contract with Danone. Moshesh selected Clarke Energy as the EPC and O&M partner for the plant. Clarke Energy will supply a 5 MW combined heat and power solution, that comprises of two of INNIO Group's J616 Jenbacher containerised engines, a waste heat boiler and 75,000l thermal store that will feed the existing hot water distribution system. These CHP engines will be integrated using the Jenbacher microgrid control systems to 4 existing diesel gensets, the existing solar photovoltaic arrange supplied by a third party, and the grid. Combining the benefits of energy efficient CHP technology with renewable solar power and emergency backup generation will enable the delivery of business continuity through energy resilience, cleaner power to the operating facility in the event of local grid failures.

Senior Director for Operations and Design to Deliver : Danone Sub-Saharan Africa, Kid Nkantsu commented: "Jenbacher energy solutions are an excellent fit for our 2050 net zero carbon commitment, a key performance indicator under the Danone Impact Journey, ensuring business continuity through energy resilience. With our frequent power supply outages, this microgrid solution will allow us to become independent from the grid, increase production uptime and integrate various distributed energy resources including hydrogen all while reducing our carbon footprint. We selected Moshesh Partners and Clarke Energy due to their track record in the region."

Sifiso Shongwe, the CEO of Moshesh Partners Fund Management commented: "We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with Danone, a prestigious industry leader committed to the betterment of our environment. This project signifies a significant step forward in South Africa's renewable energy transition, allowing Danone to become energy independent, thus further reducing its carbon footprint. We are confident that this milestone will inspire other organizations to consider similar renewable energy investments, advancing our collective goal to combat climate change and drive economic growth in a socially responsible manner."

Clarke Energy's Managing Director for sub-Saharan Africa, Yiannis Tsantilas commented: "We are delighted to have been selected for this project that will be a new example of a microgrid system delivered by Clarke Energy and helping deliver resilient power for industry on the continent."

About Danone -
Since 1995, DANONE SOUTHERN AFRICA has been dedicated to bringing health through food to as many people as possible. As a leading food and beverage company selling leading Essential Dairy Products (Inkomazi, Nutriday, YogSip, DanUp, Mayo and Ultramel), Danone aims to inspire healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices and as part this strategy, the company reframed its sustainability journey called the Impact Journey which is articulated around 3 pillars: Health, Nature and People & Communities.

About Moshesh Partners,
A majority black-owned and black-managed investment fund manager. Moshesh Partners Fund Management, based in Johannesburg and Cape Town, focuses on investment into renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure including energy, water, telecoms and transport.

About Clarke Energy,
Clarke Energy, part of Kohler Energy, is a leader in the engineering, design, installation, and long-term maintenance of distributed energy solutions. Clarke Energy can deliver complex installations and microgrids incorporating gas engine CHP units, battery energy storage systems, biogas upgrading systems and solar photovoltaic units. Clarke Energy can supply solutions including a range of low carbon or decarbonized fuels including biogas, renewable natural gas (RNG) and hydrogen. Clarke Energy operates in 27 countries. Clarke Energy employs over 1,300 staff and has over 7.4 GW of power generation, 1.4GW of which is from biogas, a renewable fuel.

Source: Clarke Energy

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