Before South Africa exports citrus fruit products, they first have to be processed and that consumes lots of energy. One juice factory has replaced harmful coal with eco-friendly sawdust to power its operations.
Project type: Switching from coal to biomass to slash CO2 emissions
Project size: Biomass is currently used to power the oven that dries fruit peels, but soon it will also power the juice boiler. 16,000 tons of biomass will be used every year.
CO2 Savings: 101,000 tons of CO2 emissions in the next 10 years
Project volume: The first phase (purchasing new drying ovens) cost 4.5 million South African Rand ($454,889), the second phase (purchasing new steam boilers, transitioning from coal to biomass) will need another 18 million Rand ($1.82 million)
So far, South Africa’s largest citrus juice producer, Letaba, has been a major polluter, using almost 11,000 tons of coal each year to power its production operations and drying ovens. Now, it’s switching to a more sustainable source of energy – sawdust from neighboring lumber mills. It’s already being used to fire the drying ovens which are used to process the fruit peels. The company aims to completely switch to biomass in the long term. That is in line with South Africa’s attempts to play a leading role in climate protection and meet ambitious goals to slash CO2 emissions levels by one third by the year 2020.
A film by Kilian Schütze