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Clover receives R360m investment into energy servitisation solution

Clover’s refrigeration plant in Queensburgh, KwaZulu-Natal. Photo: Supplied

Clover’s refrigeration plant in Queensburgh, KwaZulu-Natal. Photo: Supplied

Published May 30, 2023


Pretoria – Dairy giants Clover have received a R360 million investment from energy solutions company, Energy Partners (EP).

The investment is to assist in servitisation (industries using their products to sell “outcome as a service” rather than a one-off sale) at its Queensburgh mega-factory in KwaZulu-Natal.

EP designed and constructed the integrated refrigeration, power and steam plant which it will operate over the next 20 years.

Clover said servitisation means the company will now be paying for a service rather than the equipment itself.

“It means that Clover will only pay a fee per unit of the refrigeration and steam it uses, enabling the dairy company to lower its operational costs by as much as R792m over the period of the agreement.”

According to CEO at EP, Manie de Waal, the model highlights an opportunity for commercial and industrial businesses to increase their bottom line while decreasing operational costs and risks in a very challenging economic environment.

“South Africa’s limited and unstable power supply is now a medium-term certainty. More than just electrical power, it is absolutely critical to identify opportunities across the total energy ecosystem, such as refrigeration and steam supply, whereby capital can be preserved, efficiency increased and costs reduced.

“Servitisation builds operational agility, improves profitability, minimises waste and achieves resource efficiency. We are global leaders with a servitisation model that includes 100 percent investment, design, construction and utility management across power, refrigeration and steam assets,” said De Waal.

De Waal said that despite the 18 months it took to construct a new ammonia cooling plant within the existing plant room, a 1 180m2 boiler house and a 1.6MW solar system, the dairy company experienced minimal interruptions to operations.

Critically, Clover’s servitisation agreement with EP has secured the mega-factory a reliable supply of refrigeration and steam, with cooling efficiency alone increasing by 40%.

“It will also avoid 132m tons of CO2 emissions over the 20-year term,” De Waal added.