Growth, profit, sustainability: How Sovereign Foods ticked all the boxes with one contract

by Energy Partners


Mar 18, 2024

by Energy Partners


Mar 18, 2024

​​Welcome to Kariega, a picturesque town nestled in the Eastern Cape, where South Africa’s third largest fully integrated poultry producer, Sovereign Foods, recently found itself at a crossroads.

Faced with escalating demand, the company’s value-adding facility urgently needed to expand production capacity almost fivefold – from 2.5 t/h to 12 t/h.

However, the planned expansion posed challenges, as it required increased energy consumption, increased energy costs and would have an increased environmental impact.

Sovereign Foods’ strategic masterstroke

Enter Energy Partners, a company with a legacy of implementing cutting-edge serviced energy solutions for the likes of Dr Oetker, Clover S.A., Marquis Macadamia and Letaba Packers. Their tailored solution included:

  • Solar energy integration to reduce reliance on conventional power and reduce carbon emissions
  • An energy management system that monitors energy usage in real-time to drive better efficiencies
  • Waste-to-energy initiatives that turn waste into a valuable heating resource integrated with a steam supply solution.

The most pivotal aspect to the success of the project was Sovereign’s decision to outsource cooling and heating to  Energy Partners through a Cooling as a Service (CaaS) and Heating as a Service (HaaS) agreement, a move that has proven to be Sovereign’s strategic masterstroke. This allowed:

  • Zero capital outlay by Sovereign, with Energy Partners bearing the full cost of building the new utilities for the facility
  • A 15-year guarantee of the best possible Coefficient of Performance (CoP)
  • Ensured uptime and optimal output parameters, guaranteed by Energy Partners’ dedicated focus on the operations and maintenance of the new facility.

Significantly, the contract enabled Sovereign to focus resources on its core business, and the outcomes of the partnership have been profound, including:

  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Operational cost savings
  • Operational efficiency improvements
  • Engagement and earned goodwill within the local community.

The integrated servitisation model has been so successful, that Sovereign has subsequently opted for the same solution with Energy Partners at its existing food processing facility in Hartbeespoort, in North West.

Sovereign Foods’ journey with Energy Partners is a testament to what can be achieved through collaboration, innovation and a commitment to sustainability.


This article was originally written for and published by Engineering News.

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