South African foundry turns to Jenbacher on-site power

Due to energy supply shortages, a number of South Africa’s factories have turned to natural gas and steel gas-fuelled engine generator sets to generate reliable on-site electricity, reports GE Energy.
In the case of Thos Begbie & Company, a foundry located in the heavy industrial hub of Middelburg, Mpumalanga, the company has become nearly self-sufficient through the use of Jenbacher gas engine systems.
Thos Begbie & Company is a specialized foundry and production facility for the production of copper, chrome and manganese mainly for the export.
In 2009, as part of an effort to expand production capacity, the company needed the installation of an additional 10 MW of electricity to power the extra furnaces used in forging the specialized buckets.
After considering its options – including the potential construction of its own full-scale power plat – the company turned to GE for advice on an alternative energy solution.
GE recommended the installation of four 2.7 MW J620 natural gas-fired Jenbacher engines to power the arc furnaces used in the foundry’s preheating processes.
As it enters the completion phase of the Jenbacher project, Thos Begbie has become closer to self-sufficiency.
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