INNIO’s hydrogen solution to support Danone’s Net Zero journey in South Africa

Energy solution and service provider INNIO Group (INNIO) has supplied its Jenbacher technology to food processor Danone’s existing power plant in Anderbolt, Boksburg, South Africa.

The hydrogen-ready microgrid controller will couple and balance energy production with engines and onsite solar power plant.

This will allow Danone to drive energy efficiency with combining heat and power technology while produced power and heat for their industrial processes.

By becoming independent from the electricity grid supply, the company also reduces its reliant on the notoriously unstable South African grid.

Known as load shedding, the widespread national blackouts of electricity supply in the country were implemented by the state-owned utility company Eskom.

The measure intends to prevent the entire power grid from collapsing due to excessive demand.

A digital rendering of the plant. Source: Clarke Energy

During load shedding, specific areas or zones are rotated through scheduled power cuts to ensure that the electricity supply is balanced with the demand, minimising the risk of a total blackout.

The introduction of INNIO’s technology also aligns with Danone’s sustainability journey, which surrounds three key pillars: health, nature, and people & communities.

“Jenbacher energy solutions are an excellent fit for our 2050 Net Zero carbon commitment, a key performance indicator under the Danone Impact Journey, ensuring business continuity through energy resilience,” said Kid Nkantsu, Senior Director for Operations and Design to Deliver at Danone Sub-Saharan Africa.

“With our frequently power supply outages, this microgrid solution will allow us to become independent from the grid, increase production uptime and integrate various distributed energy resources including hydrogen all while reducing our carbon footprint.”

The two Jenbacher J616 containerised engines and the microgrid controller will be contained within a new 5 MWe (megawatt equivalent) microgrid facility to be delivered by Clarke Energy – an authorised distributor for INNIO’s Jenbacher engines.

INNIO’s Jenbacher energy solutions range in power from 250 kW to 10.6 MW and run on a variety of energy sources, from pipeline gas to hydrogen, including green hydrogen and other renewable gases such as biogas, biomethane, landfill gas and sewage gas.

According to the company, its Danone microgrid solution is planned to be commissioned by Autumn 2024.

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