DeAar, Northern Cape:

Top South African abattoir takes a giant economic and environmental step forward savings tens of thousands per month.

KYTO is leading supplier in organic, free range and Halaal lamb meat in South Africa. They specialize in the sourcing, processing, purchase, slaughter, marketing, sales and distribution of lamb & mutton to high end retail, wholesalers and consumers on national and international level. Their major clients being Checkers and Woolworths in South Africa. KYTO also exports produce internationally with abattoirs in Groblershoop and De Aar, situated in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

We asked Kyto what the driving factor was in their decision to choose solar and what challenges they were facing:

“One of the most important characteristics of our industry is the short time frame we have from processing animals to getting the products to the consumer. It’s a fast-moving industry and we must plan our production as we are part of a long supply chain. Our biggest issues were the constant power outages experienced at the plant. Some as long as 7 continuous days.

Disruptions caused by power outages affected our production schedules and delivery times. Chillers and boilers were shut down and the impact on production affected our commitments to clients. We turn stock in a day and half and could not afford the constant disruptions. Our biggest losses incurred in our business were on days we could not run production cycles and that loss was not limited to financial losses, but also affected our market share and obviously the ability to service our clients.” 

The lack of power security affected logistics, financial sustainability and contractual agreements with an additional risk to the quality of our products as well.

First and foremost, we were investigating solutions to get away from production issues caused by continuous power outages. A secondary consideration was to address escalating monthly utility bills which was exacerbated by the boiler on the plant, contributing to more than half of the electricity bill.

Following months of consultation and site audits it was clear that there were numerous challenges needing to be addressed simultaneously.”

– says Alex Cilliers, Managing Director at Kyto South Africa

Aerial shot of KYTO Abbattoir
an overview of the project:

The 475kW system was installed during a 6-8 week timeline which included many thousands of KM’s travelled to and from site:

  • 1077 ART Solar 410W panels installed – 192 of these panels were installed in a uniquely engineered ground mount system.
  • 8 GoodWe Inverters (5 x 80kW and 3 x 25kW)
  • 400kVA generator installed within 8 days
  • Large Kwikot industrial geyser replaced a 20+ year old boiler in the plant
  • 1 year service level agreement, 15 year warranty on inverters & 25 year warranty on all panels.
KYTO Abbattoir, DeAar, Northern Cape after going green through Energy Gurus

Head of the project design, Carel Ballack, further explains the installation in detail :

“Personal consultation with the client meant we understood and could address challenges faced by the business. We identified critical opportunities and supported the solutions with logical steps and measurable results. Areas to be addressed were; power security, increasing costs and inefficient equipment.” 

 – Power security:

  • During the assessment phase, the business was exposed to an extended period with no power and a 400kVA generator was installed and commissioned within 8 days.

– Efficient Equipment:

  • A 20+ year old boiler in the plant was replaced by a large industrial geyser that heated up in a quarter of the time and the biggest difference of course being no more headaches around boiler breakdowns and the costs involved thereof.

– Financial Sustainability:

  • A 475kW Grid tied solar system was installed during a 6-8 week timeline which included many thousands of KM’s travelled to and from site.
  • The solar system consisted of 1077 ART Solar 410W panels of which 192 of these panels were installed on a uniquely engineered ground mount system.
  • 8 GoodWe Inverters (5 x 80kW and 3 x 25kW) 1 year service level agreement, 15 year warranty on inverters & 25 year warranty on all panels.

“What I also enjoyed about this project was creating the one of a kind ground mount system we had to design and engineer as there wasn’t sufficient roof space for all the solar modules. 192 of the modules were installed on an engineered aluminium base taking into consideration the type of ground and soil it was built on. There were services running underground and hence we could not drill or dig trenches”

– Carel Ballack, Head of Project Design

KYTO has a culture of ‘sustainable farming for the future’ and business decisions are driven on an environmental footprint of responsibility both locally and globally as a large portion of their products are exported to international markets.

“We focus on the organic market, supplying verified organic lamb to Woolworths Free Range and Checkers Certified Natural product lines. We look at using compostable trays instead of plastic, we look at our packaging responsibility and water use. Going solar fitted in with our company vision and brand statement.  Our decision to choose The Energy Gurus over the other solar proposals we received were based on a few factors; their technical expertise was unmatched; the feedback and communication was excellent and the project was delivered as promised”

– says Alex Cilliers

Now 9 months since the installation we spoke to Kobus Van Coller, Kyto Financial Director, who further explains how the decision has affected their finances:

“Our initial decision was to curb inflation; investment into our production security meant that we could model the capex on the basis of a long term commitment.  To date, the modelled solar generation  has been fairly accurate. An original payback term of between 5-7 years with even greater savings from year 3 onwards. We are happy to say we are still on track to meet those terms with all the added benefits that Alex stated previously. Post the solar and other energy efficiency solutions being implemented, our monthly electricity bill has been reduced by approximately R50 000.00 per month, adding to the actual massive annual inflation to our cost of energy going forward.”

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