Tinashe Makichi —
Local milk processor, Dendairy, has started conducting feasibility studies for the establishment of a solar system, which is expected to power at least 30 percent of the company’s processing facilities.
Dendairy Limited produces dairy products that include full cream milk, low fat milk, maas , long life milk, milk powder, flavoured milks, ice cream, butter, yogurts, and drinking yogurts. The company was founded in 2004 and is based in Kwekwe. Dendairy director Daryl Archibald, confirmed that the project was in the pipeline.
“We are doing a feasibility study of the project at the moment, the project would generate 30 percent of all our electricity requirements on site using solar installed on our processing facilities roof,” said Archibald.
This new solar project is likely to be the first among the dairy industry players. The issue of electricity shortages has been a challenge to most companies not only in Zimbabwe, but the world over with companies resorting to alternative sources of energy to cut electricity costs. Among the renewable energy sources, solar energy is a sustainable choice and one that can be used in various applications. Business in some parts of Africa are now tapping into this alternative source of energy, hoping to benefit from its numerous advantages.
“Having a solar power system installed is the equivalent to prepaying for almost 40 years of energy, but at just a fraction of what you are currently paying for electricity.”
Dendairy commissioned its $10 million Kwekwe plant in 2016. At the commissioning, it was said that the plant will see the dairy company increasing milk production to five million litres a month against a national demand of eight million litres per month, making it the leading player in the dairy industry.
The company’s growth prospects was also being boosted by the acquisition of its 30 percent stake by Scandinavian Private Equity firm, Spear Capital. The Company managed to consolidate its market share at a time when most of its competitors were busy retooling to meet best global practices.