UBOMBO Sugar Limited is anticipating supplying Swaziland with 5 to 10% of its power.
The power station was officially launched by His Majesty King Mswati III and the company injected a staggering E1.2 billion towards its building as well as expanding its factory operations.

Ubombo Sugar Limited Managing Director Simon Cleasby said the power station would generate electricity for the company that would last them 48 weeks and the remaining four would come from the Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) per year.

He said with generating power in their premises they wanted to be self-sufficient in estate electricity demand and also consider supplying Swaziland with 5 to 10% of their power. Cleasby said with the roll-out of the co-generation project, job opportunities would be created. He was speaking at the Sugar Conference 2011 held at Happy Valley Hotel on Thursday.

“As we align our services with global standards and practice there is a request for renewable energy to replace fossil fuels. There are also environmental pressures to halt cane burning,” he said.

Cleasby said they entered a power purchase agreement (PPA) and SEC would procure all surplus power for 15 years. He said a flat rate tariff was negotiated with the power utility.

Green cane harvesting encouraged

AS environmental pressures mount on the sugar industry, green cane harvesting is inevitable and as such Ubombo Sugar will consider the practice as its strategy.
Ubombo Sugar Limited Managing Director Simon Cleasby said the pressures were calling for a halt in cane burning. Currently, cane is burnt before harvesting.

Swaziland Sugar Association (SSA) Service Level Agreement Manager Jabulani Sifundza said the cane was burnt for the purpose of easy handling.

“Even though this practice made it easy to handle the cane, it had environmental implications and there is increasing pressure for us to move to green cane harvesting.

“The practice will also benefit the soil as when the cane is burnt the trash is also burnt. If not burnt, the trash will decompose and fertilise the soil,” he said.
Sifundza explained that the sugar industry, however, had not taken a stand on the adoption of the new practice.

source: observer.org.sz

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