May 19, 2020

Anglo American opens first co-generation power plant in South Africa

Energy
South Africa
Infrastructure
Co-generation
mahlokoane percy ngwato
2 min
Anglo American opens first co-generation power plant in South Africa

Stay Connected! Follow @AfricaBizReview and @MrNLon on Twitter. Like our Facebook Page.

Anglo American Platinum Limited, in partnership with Vuselela Energy and H1 Holdings, has opened a clean energy power plant, known as Eternity Power at its Waterval Smelting Complex in Rustenburg, South Africa.

The project facilitated by the country’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which provided a R30 million grant as part of its Infrastructure Development Support which leverages investments to by providing infrastructure critical to industrial development, thus increasing exports of value-added commodities and creating employment opportunities. The incentive programme is part of the Critical Infrastructure Programme (CIP).

RELATED: Eskom and Anglo American Inyosi Coal sign Memorandum of Understanding

Jacques Malan, Director at Eternity Power and Vuselela Energy, said “The set of technologies used at the Eternity Power clean energy plant had not previously been used in a smelter environment and a significant amount of novel work was done to design the integration of the technology into the smelter complex and to establish the technical feasibility of the process.”

RELATED: Mark Cutifani's vision for Anglo American (Video)

The Eternity Power Thermal Harvesting™ project was commissioned in June 2015 and developed by Vuselela Energy in collaboration with Anglo American Platinum at a total project cost of R 150 million. It is the first co-generation power plant of its kind to be used in the South African market, and will create a clean, inexpensive power source for the Company. 

This facility uses waste heat from the Anglo Converter Plant convertor cooling circuit to evaporate an organic liquid and drive an expansion turbine. The plant has an installed capacity of 5MW of which 4.3MW is available to the grid reducing capacity bought from Eskom.

Reyburn Hendricks, Director at Eternity Power and H1 Holdings said “The smelter sector is an important component of South Africa’s mining and industrial economy and is a large consumer of electricity. Smelters emit large quantities of energy in the form of furnace off-gas as well as the emitting of heat. For various reasons.”

RELATED: Anglo American buys Oppenheimers' stake in De Beers

July Ndlovu, Executive Head of Process at Anglo American Platinum said, “We now have clean, sustainable and reliable energy and are proud to open Eternity Power as South Africa’s first thermal harvesting power plant in our operations. The plant is performing beyond expectations, generating more power ahead of its schedule.”

Read the October Issue of African Business Review. 

SOURCE: [Anglo American]

Share article

May 28, 2021

Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work

Automation
UiPath
technology
repetitivetasks
Kate Birch
4 min
As a new report reveals most office workers are crushed by repetitive tasks, we talk the value of automation with UiPath’s MD of Northern Europe, Gavin Mee

Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.

Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.

Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.

When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”

And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.

Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work

By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.

“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”

These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.

Repetitive tasks that can be automated

Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”

These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.

“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”

Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.

Five business areas that can be automated

Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.

  1. Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
  2. Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
  3. Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
  4. IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
  5. Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.

“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”

 

Share article