Sappi Southern Africa
Sustainability Report


Building on our history of firsts to establish the:

  • First biomass technology project in the South African Government programme, and
  • First REIPPP project to be developed in Mpumalanga.

Sappi and consortium partners KC Africa and African Rainbow Energy and Power are establishing a 25 MW biomass energy unit at Ngodwana Mill, known as Ngodwana Energy. The project falls under the South African Government's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP).


  • Sappi will have a 30% stake in Ngodwana Energy.
  • The plant will use biomass recovered from surrounding plantations and screened waste material from the mill production process.
  • The power plant will burn up to 35 ton per hour of biomass in a boiler to generate steam and drive a turbine to generate electricity which will be fed into the grid.
  • The plant will contribute to the national grid from July 2020.
  • Sappi already contributes to the national grid by producing surplus energy at Ngodwana Mill.


  • Financial impact: ZAR15 billion direct value add over 20 years.
  • The project will cost ZAR1.5 billion with 44% local spend.
  • 350 people will be employed during construction.
  • 91% of procurement spend will be empowerment spend.
  • In terms of preferential procurement spend, ZAR400 million will be with small-, medium- and micro enterprises and ZAR200 million on women vendors.
  • The collection of biomass from surrounding plantations will result in around 50 new jobs.
  • The total electricity produced will support 20,000 households.
  • The operations and maintenance of the boiler will create 130 new jobs.