March 28, 2008

Philips to open light bulb plant

An energy-saving light bulb manufacturing plant is to be built in Lesotho in a bid to help South Africans reduce their electricity consumption. Philips South Africa's and Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica announced the partnership which will see the country meet the growing need in energy efficient lighting solutions. The plant is also expected to stimulate economic development.

The facility will be set up jointly with Central Energy Fund (CEF), a private company owned by government under the Department of Minerals and Karebo Systems, a privately owned company specialised in Demand Side Management initiatives in the lighting and energy sectors. Luc Escoute General Manager of Philips SA Lighting Sector appealed to South Africans to use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) instead of the older, energy-intensive incandescent bulbs which use up more electricity. "We are happy that this new facility will enable our region to manufacture energy saving bulbs that will help to overcome energy shortages and combat global warming." CEF Group Chief Executive Mputumi Damane said this joint venture will help to secure a sufficient supply of these light bulbs to meet the country's ambitious targets in electricity reduction, especially in the residential sector.

The market for CFL bulbs is growing rapidly globally and is expected to accelerate in the South African region through the efforts of the national government to significantly reduce energy consumption.

The facility is scheduled to produce up to 15 million CFL lamps per year. Philips SA has also signed the Energy Efficiency Accord, an agreement which sees business leaders voluntarily agreeing to implement the National Energy Efficiency Strategy as set by the Department of Minerals and Energy of South Africa. This was to demonstrate their commitment to the government's call for action and the confidence it has in its ability to make significant inroads in reducing energy consumption through its energy-saving products and its environmentally-sound business practices. (BuaNews, Tshwane)

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