Denel aims for better energy efficiency and less water use


As a major user of both power and water in all its various production and manufacturing processes, the Denel Group has identified these as areas where better utilisation, including re-use, can lead to savings, as the State-owned defence industry company strives for continued profitability.

During the 2012/13 financial year it committed itself to Eskom’s energy conservation scheme and signed the 49M pledge, committing to reduce energy consumption by at least 10% over the next 12 years.

As a group, the State-owned defence industry conglomerate spent R88 million on electricity in the last financial year, using 105 541 900 kWh of power from the Eskom grid.

Numerous energy saving initiatives have been implemented, including waste heat recovery and replacing lighting and compressed air systems with more efficient units. Traditional geyser systems have also made way for solar water heating and heat pump fixtures and solar photovoltaic electricity generation panels have been fitted to roof surfaces.

Heat generated by compressed air systems, air conditioning and other processes are currently cooled using cooling towers and high-speed fans. The intention is to recover this heat through heat exchange apparatuses and utilise it for processes where heating is required.

Other energy saving initiatives, including energy efficient electrical equipment, power factor correction and demand control devices as well as off-peak costing systems to time-of-use systems, are also in the pipeline.

Denel spends about R8 million a year on water with the majority being used in air-conditioning and to keep gardens at its various campuses and production facilities in good stead. Plans to reduce this usage include implementation of a grey water system as well as ongoing water awareness training for all personnel.

When it comes to waste management, Denel across the board disposed of 38 tons of bulk and 712 kilolitres of liquid hazardous waste at special landfill during the last financial year. Its business units and associate companies recycled no less than 61 tons of hazardous waste.

More than 470 tons of paper, plastics, tins and metal shavings were sold to recycling companies or dealers during the year.