MTO is very focused on supporting the environment and promoting clean energy and sustainable natural resource usage. We drive towards high environmental standards in our business operations always considering the 3 Ps: people, profit and planet. We believe that managing our companies to international environmental standards reduces risks and liabilities, improves financial performance, protects portfolio companies and our investors reputations, and increases value.
Due to the growing world population and increasing wealth, the demand for energy – specifically electricity – is rising. As an environmentally aware company, we look for opportunities to provide sustainable energy with minimal impact on nature and people while also increasing investment value. MTO Group has a technical solutions team, MTO Solutions, that is focused on implementing a number of turnkey Energy projects utilising forestry biomass and converting this into energy. We are constantly looking at exciting initiatives which will bring significant benefits as part of our vision of reshaping the African Timber Landscape responsibly. Two of these projects are:
The Woodlands Dairy Partnership
The residue at a sawmill remains a challenge to any mill manager. Wood waste takes up space, needs to be transported and dumped at a suitable place which is costly, poses a fire risk and is difficult to extinguish once burning. MTO Solutions, together with Global Environment Fund, have found opportunities to harness the energy locked up in the biomass. One such project is the Woodlands Dairy Partnership. This project collaboration between Longmore sawmill and the Woodlands Dairy near Humansdorp, uses Longmore Sawmill’s excess biomass to generate steam from their boilers to replace Eskom and oil energy. Both MTO and Woodlands economically benefit by the energy supplied and the environment also benefits with 90% of Woodlands energy needs supplied by this project.
The Tradelinks Steam Generation Project
MTO Solutions replaced the ageing kilns at the George sawmill with new larger kilns, and the old boilers (from 1935) with modern more efficient boilers. Our partnership with Tradelink, a local business enterprise, allowed us to provide energy through steam generation in the sawmill. A pipeline delivering 9100 tons of steam per annum generated from 3300 tons of biomass was installed between the two sites. This pipeline is very efficient with over 90% of the condensate being returned to the Sawmill by a separate pipeline, thereby saving water. Both partners enjoy financial benefits from this.