Extrupet switches to solar energy to help tackle climate change

Extrupet switches to solar energy to help tackle climate change
06 Aug 2021

Extrupet switches to solar energy to help tackle climate change

New state-of-the-art 1.3MWp solar power plant to power green recycling for the African continent.

Extrupet is one of the largest and most advanced recyclers of plastics on the African continent and recycles more than 4 million PET bottles every day at their Wadeville facility.

With the switch to renewable energy, Extrupet has become one of the first companies in the recycling industry to adopt solar power.

The 1.3MWp solar plant, has an annual generation capacity of 2GWh and will reduce its carbon emissions by 1,800 tonnes every year, which is equal to the carbon sequestered by just under 31,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

In addition, it is set to bring down electricity costs by an estimated 30% from the first month and savings of around R130M (US$9m) to R140M (US$9.7m) over the course of the lifecycle of the solar plant.

“Climate change is the greatest existential threat ever faced by humanity. Being one of the pioneering recycling companies in Africa, everything we do is dedicated towards building a greener tomorrow.

“We are always looking at new ways to reduce energy expenditure and decrease our impact on the environment, and a switch to solar energy was the next logical step towards a sustainable future,” said Vijay Naidu, Joint Managing Director at Extrupet.

The company has already commenced operations in the brand-new plant built in collaboration with Solarise Africa and NEC XON.

Solarise Africa also provided the full-service commercial solution to finance the project.

“At Solarise Africa, we believe in collaboration and working with our partners to help Africa thrive. In spite of the global pandemic and all the related challenges, the team managed to deliver on time.

“We are proud to partner with Extrupet and NEC XON to help tackle climate change,” said Sakkie van Wijk, Chief Commercial Officer at Solarise Africa.

The engineering, procurement and construction was managed by NEC XON, the combination of XON, a systems integrator providing custom ICT and security services and solutions in Southern Africa, and NEC Africa, the African business of global technology giant NEC Corporation.

Lungani Zwane, Recycling Programme Officer at PETCO, also attended the inauguration and remarked, “We are excited and encouraged by the example that has been set by Extrupet to decrease their carbon footprint.

“We encourage our members to find ways of integrating renewable energy into our industry and wholeheartedly support any efforts that help stave off climate change.”

Cheri Scholtz, Chief Executive Officer at PETCO also congratulated Extrupet on this project. “This project is a step in the right direction towards using renewable power sources that will offset the use of carbon-based electricity and improve the current carbon footprint of this important Bottle-2-Bottle plant. The investment in clean energy by Extrupet deserves recognition and we wish the project every success,” she said.

Being a leading PET plastic bottle recycler, Extrupet recently partnered with PETCO, drinking water bottler Oasis Water, label manufacturer UPM Raflatac and label printers Java Print, to unveil a new wash-off label adhesive placed on bottles.

The ground-breaking solution renders plastic bottles with self-adhesive labels fully recyclable, promising positive spin-offs for the environment and plastic producers.