Monthly archives: September, 2011


Sustainable energy awards finalists for 2011

FPA_Aug_cover_storyThe annual Ashden Award finalists provide policy-makers, businesses and communities across the globe with pioneering real-life examples of how sustainable energy can be supplied, using local clean energy technologies and clever marketing strategies.

From the production of biomass pellets from crop waste to replacing coal in India, to the provision of a range of solar-powered products to off-grid communities in Africa, these finalists prove that it is possible to meet the energy needs of the poor in a way that radically improves lives, drives economic growth, cuts carbon dioxide emissions and saves trees.

The Ashden Awards, which have been made since 2001, are premised on the basis that access to affordable, clean energy is fundamental to daily life and should be a basic right. Also, that it is vital to any efforts to reduce poverty and to tackle the urgent issues of climate change and deforestation.

Food processing companies should consider biogas

Depending on how high electricity tariffs are in a particular country, it is often economical for food processing companies to consider biogas installations, according to Andrew Taylor, MD of Cape Advanced Engineering (CAE) of South Africa – and particularly to ensure continuity of supply. 


First pure ethanol buses in Africa

FPA_Aug_EnergyIn the next step, it is envisaged that 20 further buses might be commissioned in Johannesburg.

Other municipalities in South Africa are likely to start adopting this technology soon as well – because it supports local employment and production, and is no less cost-effective than diesel (which is derived from imported oil).
The same could be done in many other African countries – both for public transport and for commercial trucks.
All of the ethanol being supplied for the envisaged ethanol-powered buses in South Africa is likely to come from Silversands Ethanol, which is based in Lichtenburg, North West Province.

Flavours, extenders and spray drying

Savoury Food Industries has been making savoury flavours based on hydrolysed vegetable proteins (HVPs) and brewers yeast pastes and powders for over 60 years.

Pumping Water can be chilren’s play

The PlayPump® Water System harnesses the energy of children playing on a roundabout placed on top of a borehole to draw water up from the ground into a sealed 2,500 litre polyethylene storage tank, which stands seven metres above the ground.

One-stop fabricator of affordable processing equipment

Are you an agri-processor with an end-product in mind, but unsure how to achieve it?

Mozambique gets new designer rice

Following extensive testing across Mozambique, Makassane was chosen as the best tasting locally-grown rice variety.

Booker Tate knows about sugar

Booker Tate is a historic and well-known name in the sugar industry. Its acquisition by South African sugar group Tsb gives that group a knowledge base in sugar which would be hard to beat, says John du Plessis, MD of Tsb Sugar Holdings.


Bag-in-the-tube packaging

FPA_Aug_PackagingBag-in-the-box packaging is now well known in most countries, but in many cases it has an image of being a bulk carrier and somewhat downmarket.

Now, a classier form of this kind of packaging – bag-in-the-tube/core – is being used for some liquid products in South Africa – for instance, for olive oil by Olives Go Wild and KWV Café wine (both companies are located in Stellenbosch, Western Cape).

PET ready to take on beer

As a first step Boxmore Plastics, one of South Africa’s leading PET producers – which exports 50% of its production, mainly to the rest of Africa – recently launched the first bottle range designed specifically for beer. 500ml and 1-litre beer bottles are already on the shelves in South Africa.

Good packaging should last 5-7 years

So says Cape Town-based packaging designer, Vanessa Fogel, who believes that packaging is a vital component in building long-lasting relationships with consumers.

Cost-saving tips

Fogel, offers six ways to save money on packaging.

Stumblebloc looking for agents

The South African Stumblebloc system makes it easy for anybody to build at twice the speed of traditional building methods, using unskilled labour, without any external power, and at up to half the cost of a traditional building.

GEA Westfalia separator streamlines fish processing

GEA Westfalia Separator South Africa has received an order from the Western Cape-based fish product company, Oceana Brands Ltd, for two three-phase decanters.

$42 million investment in food processing

PS International, a US trading company that specialises in agricultural commodities has entered into an investment deal worth $42 million with Zambia’s Freshpikt Ltd for tomato processing.

Nampak Bevcan opens $160 million beverage can factory (Angola)

Nampak Bevcan’s $160 million beverage can factory (known as Angolata) in the Viana Industrial Zone in Angola’s capital, Luanda, is complete. The official opening took place at end-June 2011.

Big jatropha biodiesel project (Malawi)

Bio-Energy Resources Ltd plans to invest $18 million in a jatropha biodiesel plant in the capital, Lilongwe.

Mango farmers to benefit from new soft drink plant (Uganda)

At least 17,000 farmers will be beneficiaries of Century Bottling Company’s establishment of a juice manufacturing plant.

$128,000 dairy cooler (Uganda)

The Kenyan government will spend $128,000 on the construction of a modern milk cooler in Nyamira County to save small-scale dairy farmers from incurring milk losses.