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Staying fully powered during an energy crisis

Client: Multinational brewing and beverage company

Location: South Africa

Sectors: Food and Beverage

The Challenge

Prevent power outages due to load shedding during harvest season

Load shedding (planned power outages) is a regular occurrence in South Africa to manage power shortages. Sections of the grid are disconnected for 2-4 hours and homes and businesses have no access to grid power during that time.

The energy crisis has worsened further in the last year meaning more power outages and even more impact on the customer’s production. They had already suffered losses from the alcohol ban during the Covid-19 pandemic and needed to maintain full production to recover their finances.

In particular, the customer needed to ensure no downtime between January and April as that is harvesting season when the most production and highest rate of bottling of drinks takes place.

Project fact file

Generators installed 4
Initial contract 3months
Standby power provided 4,100kVA

The Solution

Flexible back-up power with automated start as required

Aggreko sent a team of engineers to the site to understand the loads required for each production process and design a suitable standby solution.

We installed two x 1250 kVA generators and two x 800 kVA generators initially on a three month contract. The generators needed to be configured to kick in automatically as soon as grid power failed.

This was simple to do with the larger generators but as the existing customer equipment was not compatible with Deif controllers we had to convert the 800 kVA generators to DSE.

Our 24/7 call centre means that if any of the generators fail whilst the customer is in production we will have an engineer onsite within half an hour to resolve the issue.

After the first three months, the customer has moved to a longer, flexible contract to support them through their busiest periods. We are also offering them the option of a BOOT (Buy Own Operate Transfer) model to give them maximum flexibility.

The Impact

Outage eliminated and production maximised throughout harvest

All the equipment was installed and commissioned on schedule in mid January in time for the harvest season.

The customer then had no downtime throughout harvest meaning they could maximise production and begin to recover their profit.