By Pamenus Tuso
The newly revived Cold Storage Company (CSC)-Boustead Beef has embarked on a 100 percent solarisation of all its premises and machinery.
The company’s managing director, Nick Havercroft, said CSC–Boustead Beef Zimbabwe, entered into a strategic partnership with mobile phone company, Econet’s subsidiary , Distributed Power Africa (DPA), which would see all its abattoirs and ranches dotted around the country being solar powered.
Havercroft said under the project, the company is already setting up a $9 million-three-megawatt solar plant at the company’s headquarters in Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo.
“We want to make sure that all our properties are solar powered. In Bulawayo, we are already constructing a 3 MW solar power plant,” said Havercroft in an interview with Green Energy Zimbabwe.
The managing director said the company is doing away with coal powered boilers and replacing them with solar powered ones.
“It is a very large investment because we are doing every facility. We are bringing in 35 solar powered compressors. After Bulawayo, we will move to Masvingo abattoir,” he said.
Havercroft said the solar project will also be extended to all the company’s ranches.
“We are intending to set up fodder banks and feedlots in our ranches. We are going to be drilling solar-powered boreholes and put up irrigated pastures for communal areas so that farmers can bring their cattle for watering,” he said.
Havercroft said due to climate change there is need to come up with climate change friendly farming methods like the use of solar energy.
Havercroft said the company has already set up a pilot solar-powered borehole at Winter Block ranch in Umguza in Matebeleland North.
“We equipped one of the boreholes at Winter Block ranch in Umguza a week ago. The communal farmers are bringing their cattle to the watering point. We are going to be growing pastures and cutting food for the feedlot,” he said.
Havercroft said his company has entered into strategic partnership with farmers where they buy shares in the company.
“We are selling shares to the farmers so that they are part of the company. We have also secured a market for the beef,” he added.
CSC Boustead Beef has injected US$400 million in the revival of the company.
CSC’s Bulawayo complex which used to be one of largest meat slaughtering facilities in southern Africa, was run down following years of mismanagement.
During its peak, the company used to export beef to the lucrative European Union market.