SA Breweries turns to cow dung to fuel beer production amid load shedding

Bio2Watt biogas plant (Image provided)

  • South African Breweries is on a mission to derive all of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.
  • It has already started with solar energy projects in all its brewing facilities.
  • A new power purchase agreement with a waste-to-energy company will draw electricity from the manure of 7,000 cows.
  • The Cape Dairy Biogas project, located on a farm outside Malmesbury, is still under construction.
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South African Breweries (SAB) will start buying electricity from a waste-to-energy company that derives its energy from the manure of more than 7,000 cows.

SAB aims to derive 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025. This target, set by the Anheuser-Busch InBev holding company’s global sustainability programme, is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 25% across the entire value chain.

The rapid shift to renewables is also making SAB less dependent on generation from Eskom, which is still struggling to meet demand, leading to disruptive episodes of load shedding.

A solar power system at SAB’s Chamdor Brewery in Krugersdorp was the first project to come online. Since then, all SAB breweries across South Africa have been fitted with solar panels, generating over 9.7 GWh of renewable electricity in the first eight months of 2021.

The Alrode Brewery in Johannesburg also uses biogas plants. This renewable energy source is set to be expanded through a recently signed power purchase agreement with industrial-scale biogas waste-to-energy company, Bio2Watt.

Bio2Watt’s Bronkhorstspruit biogas plant, with a capacity of 4.6 MW, has been supplying electricity to BMW’s Rosslyn production plant for more than five years.

His Cape Dairy Biogas project, located on a farm outside Malmesbury in the Western Cape, is still under construction.

When completed, the biogas project will have a capacity of 4.7 MW, providing SAB with renewable energy produced from manure from more than 7,000 cows and waste from surrounding farms. The primary purpose of these cows was to provide milk to Clover.

“Under this power purchase agreement and installed renewable electricity, SAB will achieve 23% renewable electricity under contract,” said Conor Ruff, vice president of supply and sustainability in Africa. , in a statement Thursday.

“As we accelerate our sustainability strategy, we look forward to collaborating with more renewable energy partners.”

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

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