Paarl Media Cape consumes approximately 28 000 tonnes of steam per year. The steam is utilised by the gravure printing presses, and also for the recovery of the ink solvents. It has been provided by one large electric boiler, which was installed seven years ago, with three paraffin fired boilers as backup in the event of a power outage. Recently, the business invested in a new boiler that is not only more cost effective to run, but will generate steam with zero carbon footprint.
The escalating price of electricity, which has outstripped inflation over the last couple of years, resulted in the electric boiler not being financially viable to run any more. Johan von Wielligh, Operations Director: Western Cape, explains: We investigated various options and finally settled on a new eight tonne boiler, which will run on small wood pellets, a much more environmentally sustainable resource. These will be delivered to site in a truck (similar to a petrol tanker). They will be transferred from the truck to an eleven meter high silo. The pellets will then be ground into a powder and burnt in the boiler. Johan describes the challenges in the implementation of the new system: We will remove one of our existing boilers to make way for the new larger boiler. The boiler house will need to be extended and the existing roof raised to accommodate the new boiler. This is going to require some careful planning as the existing boilers will still be operational while this is taking place. The new boiler should be operational by the end of August. Paarl Media Cape will retain an electric boiler and two paraffin boilers as backup for the new boiler.