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Sappi welcomes the selection as preferred bidder of the Ngodwana Energy Biomass Project

Photo: Sappi

Photo: Sappi

  • 25MW biomass project to be erected at Sappi Ngodwana Mill in Mpumalanga, South Africa
  • Biomass to be supplied from local plantations
  • Project partners are Sappi Southern Africa, KC Africa and Fusion Energy
  • Broad-based participation assured through the Ngodwana Energy Employees Trust and the Ngodwana Energy Community Trust which will each hold a 5% stake in the project
  •  Project selected in the 4th window of the Department of Energy’s Renewable Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP)
  • ELB Engineering Services appointed as EPC contractor

Sappi Southern Africa CEO Alex Thiel welcomed the announcement made on Friday 10 April 2015 that Ngodwana Energy has been chosen as a preferred bidder in the Department of Energy’s 4th window REIPPPP.

Contributing to growth in Mpumalanga

The Ngodwana Energy project is situated 50km west of Mbombela in the Mpumalanga Province on the Sappi Ngodwana Mill Site and will feed electricity into the national grid near its location within Elands Valley, between Emgwenya (formally Waterval Boven) and Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit).

The Project will contribute to the growth and development objectives of the National Government, Mpumalanga province, the communities and businesses in the vicinity as well as Eskom and the citizens of South Africa. The value added by Ngodwana Energy to the Mpumalanga region and National Government over the term of the PPA is significantly higher than alternate renewable energy technologies due to the extent and impact of value creation. Significant ongoing value is created due to the nature of biomass projects and the monetary and job creation spend across the Project value chain; from collecting biomass in the plantations, through plant and equipment contracts, to community impact through the Trusts and the economic development and socio-economic development spend as well as shareholder returns.

Adding to SA’s renewable energy supply

“Sappi is pleased to be able to contribute to the increased availability of renewable energy in South Africa” commented Alex Thiel. “Sappi will continue to focus on extracting maximum value from the renewable and sustainable wood fibre that we grow. This project builds on our earlier R3 billion investment at Ngodwana Mill and further strengthens our presence in Mpumalanga province”.

Globally Sappi has developed and constructed five hydro, two gas and 31 steam turbines which generates around 800MW of renewable power on 14 sites across seven countries.

In addition to Sappi Southern Africa and its project partners Fusion Energy and KC Africa, an Ngodwana Energy Employees Trust and an Ngodwana Energy Community Trust will each hold a 5% stake in the project.

“This announcement is an affirmation of what we are doing as Fusion Energy and the opportunities that lie ahead for the company” said Wendy Green, CEO of Fusion Energy.

KC Africa’s President, Ki Kyeong Kim’s commented: “This successful bid for Ngodwana Energy is a big achievement and a giant step for KC Africa and for our parent company, KC Green Holdings in South Korea. It is an honour to be able to jointly cooperate and develop with Sappi and Fusion on such an important project and to be able to contribute to the building of sustainable renewable energy in South Africa. It is a mark of our belief and confidence in the project, in all the parties involved and especially in the country and government.”

Kim further added that “We wish to show Africa what Korean industry can contribute to this great Continent and together with JSC’s Creative Power Division (listed on the KOSDAQ under ‘JSC’, Issue Code: A080220) collaborating with KC Cottrell on the technology side, this project will further enhance confidence.”

“ELB Engineering Services is honoured to have been appointed the EPC contract to supply the power plant for this project, which we believe will become a reference Biomass plant for Africa. With our international technology partners we will supply a power plant aligned with the specific requirements of Ngodwana Energy for the South African environment” said ELB CEO, Dr Stephen Meijers.

Only a small number of biomass projects are currently operating within the South African renewable energy market.


The benefits of using biomass fuel for electricity generation are clear.

  • Biomass power has a high load factor (Base Load) in the region of 200 000MwH per annum (90 % in comparison to other technologies which have 30 – 40% availability factors);
  • The value chain creates higher employment in operations;
  • This is technology proven over many years;
  • The forestry industry is not as affected by seasonality and climatic conditions in contrast with annual crop supply chains; and
  • Unlike coal the forestry industry can reinvest in raw material supply by replanting trees for future use as an energy source.


Global Forest and Paper Industry Celebrates International Day of Forests

The forestry sector is a significant employer especially in rural and peri-urban areas. IMAGE: Mondi

The forestry sector is a significant employer especially in rural and peri-urban areas. IMAGE: Mondi

WASHINGTON – The theme of the 2015 United Nations International Day of Forests is “Forests and Climate Change.” The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) is proud to represent the global forest products industry and its commitment to climate change mitigation all along the value chain.

 The ICFPA’s Statement on Climate Change is available at:

“Trees, especially those in well-managed forests, absorb carbon dioxide,” said ICFPA President Donna Harman. “Carbon dioxide remains stored when trees are used to make forest products, and that storage can be prolonged through recycling.”

Renewable energy producer

In addition, the forest products industry plays an important role in contributing to the production of renewable energy and reducing dependence on fossil fuels by using residuals and byproducts to produce much of the energy required for its operations. These residuals and byproducts, known as biomass, are carbon neutral when combusted for energy, according to the international carbon accounting principle.

South African context

The South African forestry sector plants an average of 260 000 trees daily. Some 600-million trees are grown across 762 000 hectares specifically for pulp and paper manufacturing. These plantations are among the world’s best in terms of sustainable forestry management and include biodiversity-rich conservation areas and grasslands as part of the managed area.

The local paper value chain employs 149 000 people from planting trees, manufacturing paper and sorting and processing paper for recycling. “The forest products industry is providing a wide range of renewable bio-based products that are used by homes and businesses on a daily basis,” says Jane Molony, executive director of the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa.

The ICFPA represents more than 30 national and regional forest and paper associations around the world. Together, ICFPA members represent over 90 percent of global paper production and half of global wood production.

More information

For more information about the sustainability of the global forest and paper industry, visit Information on the South African sector can be found at

Sustainable forest management plays an important role in biodiversity conservation, healthy timber supply and job creation.

Sustainable forest management plays an important role in biodiversity conservation, healthy timber supply and job creation.IMAGE: SAPPI

Paper recycling: Five tips to get you started

  1. Think of all the paper products you touch every day – from the cereal box in the morning to your evening newspaper. Don’t just throw them in the rubbish bin!
  2. One tonne of recovered paper will save three cubic metres of landfill space so consider the difference you could make by recycling.
  3. Keep paper clean, dry and separate from other recyclables and wet waste in a paper-only bin or box.
  4. Decide what you will do with your paper – have it collected or drop it off? Visit
  5. Make family, friends and visitors aware that you recycle paper.

    Unleash the super recycler within you

    Unleash the super recycler within you

Beverage cartons are recyclable (Photo: Tetra Pak)

Beverage cartons are recyclable (Photo: Tetra Pak)

Recycling diverts paper and other recyclable packaging items from landfill.

Recycling diverts paper and other recyclable packaging items from landfill.

Printed books continue to create lasting memories

97% of respondents were able to recite fond memories of a book they had read, according to a survey  conducted by the Paarl Media Group to look at reading habits. (Photo:

97% of respondents were able to recite fond memories of a book they had read, according to a survey conducted by the Paarl Media Group to look at reading habits. (Photo:

Printed books continue to create lasting memories

In the age of endless options with multiple platforms to read, readers still find themselves drawn to printed books. According to a survey recently conducted by the Paarl Media Group to look at reading habits, an overwhelming 97% of respondents were able to recite fond memories of a book they had read. Many of these memories stemmed from books received or read as a child or young teen. Continue reading

Got paper? Recycle it.

Respect the life cycle of paper. Recycle it.

Respect the life cycle of paper. Recycle it.

We connect with paper products every day – at home in the kitchen and bathroom; at the office; at the airport.

But it is estimated that only 5% of South African households recycle their paper products. So what is the other 95% doing? Unfortunately their paper goes into the refuse bin and off to landfill.

Today a magazine, tomorrow a newspaper

Locally produced paper is made from plantation-grown trees, recycled paper fibre or sugar cane fibre, making recycled paper is a valuable resource in the paper and packaging chain. While 62% of paper is recovered in South Africa, just less than one million tonnes still end up in landfill, degrading with food waste and adding to greenhouse gas levels in the air we breathe.

By recycling paper, the carbon (absorbed as carbon dioxide by the trees) remains ‘locked up’ in the paper and out of the atmosphere for longer.

Sort your rubbish from your recyclables

The first step to paper recycling is getting to know your recyclables.

  • Magazines and brochures including glossy varieties
  • Newspapers
  • Office and shredded paper; envelopes
  • Cardboard of any kind – dry food, cosmetic and medicine boxes; roll cores; packing cartons
  • Paper giftwrap
  • Milk, beverage and food cartons
  • Used paper plates, disposable nappies, tissues and toilet paper
  • Wax-coated, foil-lined or laminated boxes
  • Used cement bags and  dog food bags
  • Foil gift wrapping, carbon and laminated paper


Get it collected or drop it off

Visit for collection programmes or drop-off sites in your area. Keep recyclables aside for an informal collector who walks your neighbourhood every week or contract the services of a small recycling business.



Could paper be a solution to SA’s maths problem?

On Thursday 4 December, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga announced the results of the Annual National Assessments (ANA), noting that Grade Nine mathematics remained ‘our Achilles heel’.  The ANA assessed the maths and language skills of more than seven million pupils in Grades One to Nine and found the Grade Nine class of 2014 scored ‘an unacceptably low’ average of 10.8%.

The Minister plans to launch an investigation into the matter. Meanwhile a mathematics development project involving thousands of South African maths educators and over four million learners is under way – using the medium of paper.

The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) along with the Paper Recycling Association of South Africa (PRASA) and the professional education and curriculum development organisation, SATeacher, launched a teacher-training project in 2012 which incorporates a paper and recycling component into the Foundation and Intersen Phase school curriculum.

The programme, which has the approval of the Department of Basic Education (DBE), shows educators how to make use of simple and inexpensive paper-based resources like paper plates and cut-outs so they can make maths concepts more tangible for the learner.

Teaching minus paper equals a problem

“As the world continues to push aside paper and schools replace textbooks with tablets, our learners suffer the consequences, and not just in mathematics,” says Jane Molony, PAMSA executive director. She adds that studies into paper and digital learning are beginning to reveal that the tactile experience of paper-based materials promote better comprehension and information retention.

SATeacher co-founder and director Liezel Blom explains. “The mistake we often make is to get children to memorise maths; we then test this memorisation.” For example, memory counting from one to 20 does not prove that the learner grasps the concept of one object versus 20.

“For there to be a deep understanding and connection with maths, we need to be practical – using our brains, eyes, hands and fingers – which is why we use the concrete-representational-abstracti method,” says Liezel.

Educators are also provided with printed DBE and SATeacher workbooks, lesson plans and guidelines for easy-to-make paper resources. “All of the resources share the message that paper is renewable and recyclable,” adds Molony.

The potential is exponential

A Gauteng-focused pilot phase in 2012 reached 1,726 schools, 40,000 educators and 1,25 million Grade R to Seven learners. In 2014, the programme was rolled out to the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, reaching a collective 5,857 schools and a further 195 schools in Gauteng. In total, it has included more than 130,000 educators and four million learners in three years.

“Each educator trained has the potential to reach at least 20 learners,” says Molony who adds that many of the workshops during the year were over-subscribed. “We hope that through the continued support of the Department of Basic Education and our industry members we can take this programme to new levels.”



  • Concrete materials such as counters, unifix cubes, blocks, beans, sticks and stones can be used. To this end, SATeacher provides paper cut-outs at the back of each workbook.
  • Representational materials could be semi-concrete in the form of dominoes, dice or pictures of cards and semi-abstract which involves the drawing of a particular number of pictures or shapes. “This level is not always dealt with in-depth in our schools in SA and without paper resources, this level of understanding is almost impossible,” says Liezel. “In the workbooks provide cut-outs at the back of the workbook and opportunity for learners to use pictures to solve problems.”
  • After the learners have mastered the two previous levels we can move to the abstract level, using only numbers and mathematical symbols. The workbooks provide input for teachers to demonstrate each concept. Liezel reiterates that without paper resources, these concepts are very difficult to explain.


PAMSA has been promoting the interests and efforts of the South African pulp and paper industry since 1992. It provides a forum for the development and presentation of common views on pre-competitive industry issues, and engages stakeholders on matters of legislation, skills upliftment, education, research, environment, sustainability, and recycling.  PAMSA, which currently represents more than 90% of the paper manufacturers in South Africa, is involved in numerous activities which are governed by an annual general meeting for members.  Any employer involved in the manufacture of pulp, paper, board, tissue and recycled paper may hold PAMSA membership. | @PaperRocks_SA

PRASA is an industry association representing processors and manufacturers of recycled paper fibre. Allied to the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa, PRASA seeks to promote a culture of recycling by driving education and awareness programmes within schools and engaging with business and government.

SATeacher was founded by Dreyer Lötter and Liezel Blom in 2003 to focus on the professional development of teachers in South Africa. This gave rise to develop structured teaching plans and resources, based on the South African curriculum. To date SATeacher developed and published hundreds of titles and the materials are used in every school in South Africa. |





Mondi’s recycled NAUTILUS® papers awarded Buyers Lab performance certification

Consistent quality of NAUTILUS® SuperWhite and NAUTILUS® ReFresh externally verified

Vienna, 06 October 2014 – Mondi’s recycled brands NAUTILUS® SuperWhite and NAUTILUS® ReFresh have been awarded with the Buyer’s Lab (BLI) performance certification based on independent testing across numerous digital imaging devices.  Buyer’s Lab (BLI), the leading global independent office products test lab and business consumer advocate, tested the NAUTILUS® papers on a total of 15 different office document imaging devices (including copiers, printers, fax machines and multifunctional products) representing Canon, Epson, Kyocera, Ricoh and Brother and evaluated the results based on paper dust, runnability (curl, double-sheeting and misfeeds), image performance, packaging and cut defects. According to the certificates awarded, both NAUTILUS® brands have proven to be highly reliable, with excellent performance related to image quality, dusting and curl. Continue reading

Cutting beautiful pieces out of paper

Photo: PisazzCreations

Photo: PisazzCreations

A little while back, we stumbled across a tweet by Sarah Denton (@PisazzCreations) when she shared one of her papercutting marvels. Born in England, Sarah spent eight years of her childhood in South Africa.

Naturally we love the medium she was using so we asked her to share a little more about the art of papercutting.

1.  What brought you into the world of papercutting?

I enjoy being creative and like to try new things. I had been browsing the internet looking for new craft things to try when I came across a photograph of a papercut someone had done – so pretty and elegant. It looked really interesting and I decided to have a go myself. My first cut I did looked good but I knew I could make my lines cleaner and improve so decided to have another go. Before long I was hooked and soon began sketching more designs to try.

2.  How have ‘sharpened’ your skills and developed your style?

As with anything you want to get better at, you have to practise. And practise. And practise. The more I cut, the more I enjoyed it. My cutting became smoother and cleaner, my lines became finer and my circles smoother, although I think there is still some room for improvement on those.Photo: PisazzCreations

I spent a number of years growing up in South Africa. I love the country and the wildlife and so I have been able to combine my love for nature and animals and papercutting and this makes up a large part of my subject matter.

Photo: PisazzCreations

Photo: PisazzCreations

3.  The end results look quite intricate. How long does a piece take you on average?

It depends on the size of the cut and the amount of detail.  A 10x 8 inch animal cut usually takes about half an hour to sketch and another one to two hours to cut. A larger piece like my recent woodland cut took just over six hours to cut.

4.  Do you sell your pieces?

I do sell my work via Facebook  and etsy. I sell my own designs as well as taking commissions for customers’ own ideas.

5.  What brings you the most joy?

The feeling I get when someone tells me how much they love a piece or when they tell me how the person reacted when they gave it to someone as a present.

Photo: PisazzCreations

Photo: PisazzCreations

Nature is inspiring so I rarely spend time trying to decide what I can cut. Sometimes I will see something or take a photo and think I can make that into a papercut. I also love the story of Alice in Wonderland so have cut a few Alice pieces and tried to capture a bit of the fantasy side of Alice.

7.  Paper is obviously the core medium. What do you love about paper?

Paper can change the feeling of a cut. The thickness, the texture, the colour it adds to the mood and emotion you get when you look at a piece.








About Sarah:

She lives in Northampton, England with her husband Martyn, two sons Thomas and William, and two dogs.

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Photo: PisazzCreations

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Photo: PisazzCreations

Photo: PisazzCreations

Photo: PisazzCreations