Energy savings and back-up generation more vital than ever
7 May 2014
Due to the national power shortage and the rising electricity prices, large power and water users like mining houses, commercial buildings, manufacturing plants and the agricultural sector need to address the impact that consumption has on their bottom line and explore technology that can mitigate risks.
According to a report by the African Development Bank, poor electricity supply has also proved to be the major constraint to the business sector in Africa and has contributed to lower productivity and competitiveness levels. "The African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa exhibition and conference will assist the private and public sectors to support the national grid and reduce their power and water consumption", says event director Russell Hughes.
This includes a variety of free energy and water efficiency workshops on the expo floor, with topics including energy conservation at large plants, improving water usage for businesses, and using ISO 50 001 to integrate a business energy management plan.
Organisations can hear how they can reduce electricity consumption by 11% and Engen will explain how as one of more than 250 exhibitors at African Utility Week, taking place from 13-14 May at the CTICC in Cape Town.
They will assist utilities, municipalities and large power users in their endeavours to be more energy efficient. Other products on display include environmentally friendly generation solutions from MarelliMotori and First Solar, the latest in condition monitoring to avoid down-time from Martec and back-up generation solutions by Zest.
There is also a strong focus on maintenance at the event as part of addressing the current energy constraints with dedicated maintenance workshops, around electrical motor maintenance, ICT tools for water utilities and the ISO 55 000 asset management standard with speakers from companies such as Pragma, GIBB and Megger amongst others.
"It is essential that both public and private sectors get a strong understanding of their asset management maturity and develop a robust maintenance road map", says Anton Booyzen, chairman of the Southern African Asset Management Association. The association's inaugural Asset Management Co nference, is hosted at African Utility Week "Relevant and practical, by the industry, for the industry," is how African Utility Week event director Russell Hughes describes the 14th edition of the conference and expo.
The organisers also teamed up with other professional industry bodies including SAIEE (South African Institute of Electrical Engineers), the Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency and South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre for the varied series of free CPD-accredited technical workshops taking place on the expo floor.
Says event director Russell Hughes: "this is a unique opportunity for teams to upskill themselves and obtain practical solutions to improve daily operations. I invite everyone to come and get their hands dirty, overalls are optional!"
More than 5000 power and water professionals from more than 30 African countries and 70 worldwide are expected in Cape Town for the largest utility gathering of its kind on the continent. Entrance to the expo is free.
The African Utility Week Awards will furthermore celebrate the industry's triumphs and successes throughout 2013 in nine award categories, ranging from Utility Executive of the Year to the Best Rural Electrification Project.