Diesel for power generation at National Foods increased by 582 930 litres to 712 851 litres in 2023 from 129,921 litres in full year 2022, owing to continuous power outages.
The impact of the country’s unreliable energy supply, which is now one of the nation’s major difficulties, comes as the government is attempting to entice investment into the nation out of concern that the frequent power outages would undermine investor confidence.
“Business was more reliant on generators in full year 2023 with 3,175 more hours of generator power which attributed to the 448 percent increase in usage,” the group said in its 2023 annual report.
Recognising the economic, environmental and logistical challenges of running large-scale diesel generators for extended periods, National Foods is working on a 2 MW solar project.
“Alternative renewable energy options are continually assessed, including the option of utilising solar energy production to reduce reliance on the grid and generator backup,” the group said.
“Working with Distributed Power Africa, a concept design of a 2MW solar installation at the Aspindale site has been generated and assessed. Although no firm plans for progressing the project have been approved, work continues on refining the concept and assessing the proposal.”
In FY2023, National Foods volumes stood at 553 000 tonnes, 3 percent below FY2022 due to volume losses in the flour unit, on the back of significantly higher global grain prices which dampened consumption.
Revenue rose 21,7 percent to US$343 million as the group’s profit after tax declined by 39 percent to US$7,53 million.
“While this was a disappointing result, our key strategic objectives of moderating the impact of commodity prices on the consumer was achieved and our products continue to hold strong positions in the market,” it said.
National Foods closed VFEX Friday session flat at US$1.5000.