July 25, 2024

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Raise a glass to Rand Air’s rental power solutions that keep South Africa’s wine flowing

3 min read

Rand Air has been a trusted rental partner to some of South Africa’s premium wine producers in the Western Cape with the supply of portable power solutions for close on 10 years.

South Africa has six wine regions, predominantly situated in the Western Cape Province, and ranks eight out of the top ten traditional wine-producing countries, contributing 4% of total global production. The South African wine industry is a major contributor to the country’s GDP, bringing R55 billion to the local economy and employing over 269 000 people, both directly and indirectly.*

Ashley Bailey, who was recently promoted from Internal to External Sales Representative, based at Rand Air’s Cape Town depot, explains that during their busy annual harvesting period between January and April, wine producers need to scale up their energy requirements to keep their production and packaging lines operating.

Bailey explains that Rand Air originally started supplying generators to wine farm customers simply to serve as back-up units. However, the unwelcome on-set of load shedding with back-to-back high stages, rendered the wine producers’ own generators, including their back-up power units, insufficient. Taking into account that the wine producers are prime exporters and that an hour of downtime can result in anything up to R500 000 in production losses, downtime is completely out of the question. “They subsequently turned to Rand Air for a hire solution to meet their power challenges by mitigating load shedding, especially during their critical production periods to ensure seamless operations.”

Rand Air’s power rental solutions for three leading wine farms in the Western Cape comprise TwinPower QAC 1100 units.  TwinPower conveniently houses two fully loaded QAC 500 kVA generators side-by-side in one custom 20-foot container. With up to 1MW of predictable power packaged on a single platform, power has essentially been doubled, providing the ultimate reliable and flexible prime and critical standby power solution to customers.  Bailey also points out that this configuration, with its fast-paralleling system, allows the two generators to work independently or in parallel with each other. “Moreover, owing to the TwinPowerconcept, one generator can run at 50% while the other is being serviced, offering end-users a built-in backup as standard for seamless 24/7 power supply.”

According to Bailey, Covid highlighted the added value of renting air and power as a seamless solution. “The wine producers realised that hiring air compressors and generators eliminated the hassle of servicing and repairs in the event of unexpected breakdowns.”

“We are customer-driven, and our qualified Rand Air technicians are a convenient phone call away, ready 24/7 to service and repair machines when necessary. A member of our service team, who has a proud 38 years of experience, earned the Rand Air Service Man of the Year award in 2022 and 2023,” notes Bailey who is also the recipient of Rand Air’s prestigious Internal Sales Representative award in 2023.

In closing, Bailey urges wine farm customers to get their generator orders in before November for next year’s harvest period to ensure availability and timely delivery during the critical harvest season. “Placing orders early helps Rand-Air plan and allocate the necessary equipment, ensuring that customers have reliable power solutions when they need them most. This proactive approach guarantees that wine farms have the necessary support to maintain productivity and protect their valuable crops during the busy harvest period.”

Rand Air has over 50 years of experience in supplying top quality, efficient rental solutions to a broad range of industries across South Africa including food & beverage, petrochemical, construction and mining. The recent addition of steam boilers and chillers to its fleet of portable air compressors, generators, pumps and light towers, positions the rental specialist as a single source supplier of air, power and temperature utilities to industry across Southern Africa.

* Statistics provided by The International Organisation of Wine and Vine                        

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