Energy-efficiency project saves King Shaka airport R2.7m

12 March 2015

King Shaka International Airport in Durban has reported electricity savings of 1.9 GWh over three years – or the equivalent of R2.7-million – by implementing an energy management system with the support of the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA).

The amount of energy saved at the airport is enough to power 225 South African middle-income homes for a whole year.

The airport, which is managed by state-owned Airports Company of SA (Acsa), identified energy saving as one of its key business imperatives. It signed up for the NCPC-SA’s Industrial Energy Efficiency Project.

The NCPC-SA is a programme of the Department of Trade and Industry, hosted by the CSIR. Its services are fully subsidised to enable companies to proactively comply with South Africa’s environmental policies, regulatory frameworks and standards, before these become legislated.

Three projects undertaken at the airport over three years have resulted in a total energy saving of 1 932 576 kWh, which is valued at R2 761 249. With a total investment of R40 0641, the estimated average payback period was 1.8 months. A reduction of 1 850 tonnes of carbon dioxide was achieved.

NCPC-SA provided training and assessment to King Shaka staff, helping the company to develop and implement an energy management system.

Airport spokesperson Colin Naidoo said the real success behind the project was the high returns on low- or zero-cost initiatives. The airport’s financial investment was less than a fifth of the savings gained.

The project has focused on reducing lighting demand throughout the airport, including in the parkades, as well as improving the management of air conditioning.

Kevin Cilliers, NCPC-SA senior project manager in KwaZulu-Natal, said he believed the success of the project was due to the enthusiasm of dedicated, responsible people to improve energy consumption.

“The support of top management is critical for a programme like this to succeed. Their support also includes getting employees involved and excited about energy management. ACSA has a number of sites throughout the country, so the learning and successes can be shared with other airports,” Cilliers said.

Cilliers adds that companies such as ACSA that decide to roll-out EnMS to other branches or affiliates play an important role in extending the environmental and financial benefits accrued through sustainable energy management strategies in South Africa.

The Industrial Energy Efficiency Project is implemented by the NCPC-SA in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. It is funded by the South African government through the Departments of Trade and Industry and Energy and international donors, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the UK Department for International Development.

Source: CSIR