Nampak starts up energy-efficient glass furnace

Nampak’s new ZAR 1.2 billion energy-efficient glass furnace will increase the plant’s capacity to 295,000 tons per annum and create about 140 direct jobs. This third furnace is one of the most environmentally friendly and technologically advanced of its kind in the world. Emissions, energy, waste and water are all managed efficiently, with improved flexibility in terms of colour, shape and light-weighting of final products.

Nampak’s new energy-efficient glass furnace has been officially opened in Roodekop, Gauteng. The ZAR 1.2 billion furnace, which is the third at Nampak Glass, will increase the plant’s capacity to 295,000 tons per annum and create about 140 direct jobs. Nampak has already secured long-term contracts to supply customers with a mix of glass bottles and jars.
“Of the ZAR 1.2 billion invested in the third furnace, 50% was spent on developing the building in South Africa and the balance was used to buy the furnace equipment in Europe,” said André de Ruyter, CEO of Nampak. The Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti) section 12I tax allowance incentive on brownfields investment has been a key enabler for the third furnace project. “This is a great example of a truly dynamic public-private partnership,” he added.
The Nampak Glass factory has received significant investment capital to upgrade its infrastructure and manufacturing processes and increase its capacity since it was established in 1984. In 2010, Nampak opened a ZAR 160 million cullet processing plant, which processes about 80 000 tons of cullet a year, procured from 4,000 SMMEs. Once production at the third furnace ramps up demand for cullet will also increase, creating a virtuous cycle of opportunity for SMMEs and informal waste collectors alike, while limiting the impact of waste on the environment. Cullet currently replaces up to 55% of the requirement for virgin raw material at the factory.
The third furnace is one of the most environmentally friendly and technologically advanced of its kind in the world. Emissions, energy, waste and water are all managed efficiently, with improved flexibility in terms of colour, shape and light-weighting of final products. Specific features include cullet batch preheating from waste gases, a closed-loop water purification system and an ESP filter that reduces emissions.
One of South Africa’s largest Rotary Uninterrupted Power Supply (RUPS) has also been installed on the site, removing the risks of power outages and surges. “In the past year alone, Nampak has spent approximately ZAR 2.5 billion on a number of capital projects, the majority of which were in South Africa. More will be spent in the future, mainly on refurbishing and upgrading existing operations in order for us to remain competitive in the face of increasing competition and cost pressure,” said de Ruyter.
As the leader in packaging in Africa, Nampak recently acquired a beverage can-making business in Nigeria for USD 300 million and is doubling its beverage can-making capacity in Angola from 800 million to 1,8 billion cans by 2015. Nampak Glass is considering both greenfield and brownfield growth opportunities in the key regions of West and East Africa.