5 August 2008 – According the Tongaat Hulett CEO, Peter Staude, the firm could generate up to 266MW if it builds co-generation plants at four of its Southern African sugar mills.

Sugar canePlans for all four projects are in pre-engineering or environmental impact assessment stages, although Tongaat Huletts has still not decided on the type of technology to be used (which will also affect its ultimate generation capacity).

If the company opts for ‘tops and trash’ technology, it could be generating 266MW within three years. However, if it chooses otherwise, it could commission 180MW within the next 30 months; Staude told Engineering News this week.

He added that, at a cost of approximately US$3.4 million per megawatt, the total amount for the 266MW was approximately US$900 million, or US$617 million for 180MW. Staude said that power had to be exported from other areas to feed sugar mills that are in ‘deficit areas’ – three of these on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast and one in Mozambique, Xinavane.