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Going green to save Tanganda US$700K

Tanganda Estates

Tea-maker Tanganda says the decision to shift to green energy will save the company in excess of US$700 000 in power costs, with the company committing to sustainable farming practices.

The company said it started replacing diesel generators with solar power last year at a time the country was battling electricity outages which had escalated operational costs.

Tanganda chief executive officer Timothy Fennell on Tuesday said the company would invest approximately US$8 million in three solar projects.

 “We have three smaller ones to do. We’ll probably do one every year for the next three years, for a total of about US$4 million, maybe a little more. At current fuel prices, we are obviously looking at the best part of US$700 000 a year of savings in diesel only from the generators. With the prevailing power challenges, it is an absolute necessity to have a back-up power source in the form of green energy,” he said.

During the period, Fennell said the company constructed a 1,8MW solar plant at Ratelshoek Estate, a 1,2MW solar plant at Tingamira Estate, and a 1,4 MW solar plant at Jersey Estate.

With the prevailing power challenges, Fennell said it was an absolute necessity to have a back-up power source in the form of green energy.

Meanwhile Fennell told the company’s AGM that despite the late start of the rainy season, the company expected an excellent season.

“Our local sales are up by 13%  and our regional  sales are up  by 37%. This is very important to us as it is crucial that  we regrow our offshore side of things. This is all in line with our value addition projects which the chairman has already mentioned and we have invested considerable funds and resources into  upgrading chains within the company and we do  not have many left to go. We have a couple of  solo projects,  our macadamia plant, otherwise  all other things are in place,” he said.

 Fennell added that   from a marketing point of view, the company was however still facing some challenges primarily hanging from the COVID-19 era and lockdown in certain parts of the  world which were still impacting on some of its  high value  crops in particular, macadamia.

“But the value addition projects we are undertaking will go a long way in mitigating those problems. We remain very   committed to sustainable farming practices and this is paramount on our programmes and all our  crops as we go forward.”

 He said this was backed by huge investments which the company put in solar and other eco-friendly projects.

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