Tiger Brands, Africa’s biggest listed food maker, will install solar power at four manufacturing sites by early next year, part of a wider rollout to reduce the company’s dependence on South Africa’s state-owned electricity firm.
The Johannesburg-based company is looking to source 65% of power at plants in the country from renewable energy by 2030, according to an emailed statement Wednesday.
The plan is to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by the same year and reach net zero emissions two decades later.
Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd, the state utility that generates most of South Africa’s electricity, has subjected the country to rolling blackouts since 2008 because its mostly old and poorly maintained plants have been unable to meet demand.
The national government has moved to reduce the red tape related to private generation of energy, paving the way for such initiatives.
Tiger Brands’s multi-million-rand plan aims to “maximize efforts to reduce the company’s reliance on the national grid,” the maker of Albany bread and Doom insect repellent said.
Tiger Brands will start with its sites at Henneman Mill in the Free State, King Foods in the North West, as well as its Beverages and Home and Personal Care plants in Gauteng, where Johannesburg and Pretoria are located.
It is also exploring alternatives to solar, including biogas, wind, batteries and hydrogen.
“This is not a one-size-fits-all solution that we are introducing. We want to ensure that we assess the requirements of each site individually and implement initiatives and innovations that best suit each site while removing all forms of power wastage,” Chief Manufacturing Officer Derek McKernan said.