VKB Mills chooses Natural Gas

Based in The Free State, VKB Mills (VKB) bakes1.3 million loaves of bread a month with the 240 000 tons of maize they produce annually. VKB has introduced Natural Gas as an alternative energy supply by power partnering with Virtual Gas Network. Producing cake flour, white and brown bread flour and bran across 4 mills.

VKB had 3 key requirements for their choice of energy; to be efficient; to be safe and to be reliable.

The switch to Natural Gas has resulted in a substantial reduction in energy costs and overall improved milling performance.

World-renowned source of energy

Using Illuminating Paraffin, VKB drew down an average of 28 500 litres per month. At this point, the cost for a litre of Illuminating Paraffin was R9.20/litre. In comparison, when VKB switched, Natural Gas costed R7.12/litre equivelent, equating to an immediate saving of just under R60 000 or R2.08 per litre! Alongside the hard savings furnaces, boilers and other equipment powered by Natural Gas recorded a 97% operational efficiency.

VKB also preferred Virtual Gas Network’s track record as a safe, efficient and affordable supplier of Natural Gas. In fact, Natural Gas’s safety is world-renowned, with many manufacturers either using or switching to Natural Gas across many countries. Energycentral.com notes that Natural Gas’s popularity will continue to grow over the next decade with states such as the USA, EU and UAE all coming in as the top Natural Gas consumers.

“There is an urgency with manufacturers like VKB and may others wanting to reduce their carbon footprint while improving efficiency – Natural Gas is all that, packaged by a reliable Virtual Gas Network…delivered directly to your door.”

  • Wayne Williams, Sales and Marketing Director, Virtual Gas Network

Financially viable

VKB has seen an overall improvement of 20% on efficiency through the switch to Natural Gas. The price of Natural Gas is not only stable but well below the average energy prices of other energy sources. Being a low carbon emitter, VKB has the opportunity to participate in the South African Carbon & Tax Offset scheme through a carbon credit verification process. This will assist in reducing tax penalties imposed by the Carbon Bill.

“Our power partner has saved our mills over R2 a litre. Also, Virtual Gas Network has brought energy stability, reliability and safety to our business”

– Marius Oosthuyzen, Production Manager, VKB Flour Mills (VKB)

The table below showcases the VKB financial case study:

VKB has found that meeting growing demand required a power partnership rarely found with existing energy suppliers. VKB contracted the services of Virtual Gas Network to bring financial stability and improve efficiency across all sites and the rest, as they say, is history…

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