In 2014 BMW SA signed a power purchasing agreement with Bio2Watt. Photo: Rob Till

PRETORIA – BMW South Africa expects its Rosslyn production plant to be 100 percent powered by renewable energy before the end of this year, two years ahead of the global target set by its German parent company for all its production facilities worldwide.

Tim Abbott, chief executive of BMW Group South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, said on Wednesday that 30 percent of the energy needs of its Rosslyn plant already came from Bio2Watt, the first commercially viable biogas project in South Africa.

In 2014 BMW SA signed a power purchasing agreement with Bio2Watt, whose first renewable energy project relies on organic waste from the Beefcor feedlot in Bronkhorstspruit, one of the largest feedlots in the country. 

“We are looking at ways of expanding that over the coming years. Ideally we would like to get that (Bio2Watt) up to 50 percent. That is our dream, our aim,” he said.

Abbott added that with the renewable energy provided by Bio2Watt and by using renewable credits, BMW SA could be off the electrical grid by the end of this year.

He said apart from Bio2Watt, the renewable credits would come from solar, wind and hydro-electric generated power in South Africa but also from anywhere in the world.


“This is a big statement for us and helps the footprint of BMW Group worldwide in terms of becoming the most sustainable company in the world. We are just doing it quicker than the group, because Bio2Watt is helping us,” he said. 

Abbott was speaking at an event in Midrand where he handed over the keys to the first of two new BMW X3s that it would be donating to Arrie van Deventer, the founder of the Rhino Orphanage.

The orphanage has saved more than 15 rhinos since it was founded in 2012 and is the first specialist, dedicated, non-commercial centre that cares for orphaned and injured baby rhinos with the sole aim of releasing them into the wild.

Abbott said BMW SA was building more than just a car in the country and had donated 20 BMW X3s worth more than R15 million to selected educational establishments, including technical colleges and universities, and non-governmental organisations.

BMW invested R6.2 billion in South Africa for the production of the X3.

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