Blue Energy, Borbet SA Seal 20-Year Green Power Deal

Blue Energy Seals Deal to Boost Sustainability, Cut Costs at Borbet Facility

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe

Blue Energy Africa, a leader in the development and operation of clean energy infrastructure, has entered into a landmark 20-year agreement with Borbet South Africa (SA) to supply the wheel manufacturer with renewable energy. This strategic partnership marks a significant step in the shift towards sustainable industrial practices in the region.

Borbet SA, part of the Borbet family that has been manufacturing light-alloy wheels since 1962, operates facilities across Germany, Austria, and South Africa. The South African branch, located in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape, produces wheels for major automotive brands including Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Isuzu.

The collaboration with Blue Energy is set to equip Borbet SA’s Gqeberha facility with a cutting-edge solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery energy storage system (BESS). The installation includes over 5 MWp of solar panels across rooftops, carports, and storage areas, complemented by a 4 MWh BESS and a backup generator. This configuration aims to bolster the plant’s resilience against operational disruptions caused by power outages.

The new energy system will not only reduce the facility’s dependence on traditional electricity sources but is also projected to slash carbon emissions significantly. With a peak generation capacity of 5,350 KWp and additional battery storage of 4,000 kWh, the system is expected to produce over 7 million kWh annually, cutting down carbon emissions by 6,000 tons each year.

Brenton van Vuuren, Managing Director of Borbet SA, emphasized the importance of this project for the company’s sustainability goals. “The first phase of this project will lessen our reliance on Eskom-generated electricity by 8%,” he stated. “This is a critical move towards our goal of decarbonization and enhancing our environmental footprint, which is increasingly becoming a focal point for industry stakeholders.”

The renewable power deal is anticipated to not only provide environmental benefits but also economic ones, particularly by minimizing potential losses during electricity outages, a frequent challenge in the region. “The system’s capability to safely shut down operations during severe loadshedding or power failures will substantially reduce the risk of scrapping final products,” explained Jan van Ravenswaay, COO of Blue Energy Africa. This feature is expected to ensure continuity in production and stabilize operations during energy disruptions.

This initiative by Blue Energy and Borbet SA serves as a model for other manufacturing entities in South Africa and beyond, showcasing how embracing renewable energy can lead to substantial operational efficiencies and contribute to a company’s sustainable development goals.

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