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October 2012


EXCITEMENT – Distillery upgrade under way – page 2 MEASUREMENT – Carbon emissions in focus – page 8


MESSAGE FROM THE MD Following the strong start to the year in quarter 1, volumes to the international market slumped during quarter 2 as a result of slowing demand in Africa and aggressive price cutting by Indian suppliers into the region. In India a combination of a good sugar crop, weak Rupee and delayed mandatory fuelblending programme supported strong direct competition via numerous traders from Indian producers who historically have been somewhat removed from the African market. The export market is however showing signs of recovery during quarter 3 and local demand has remained strong throughout the year. Fixed costs have been well contained during the year and must remain under constant focus as a key component of the margin recovery programme that is required to mitigate the dramatic increase in raw material cost experienced over the past two years as a result of the continued poor local molasses supply and high level of imports. The benefits of the AX ERP system are finally starting to be seen with the rapid detailed analysis of recent business activities highlighting areas for improvement and raising questions about some long-held assumptions. The continued use of the powerful analytical capabilities of this system will enable us to further fine-tune our business processes and activities for optimised performance.

The increasingly complex nature of our supply chain and the logistics required to supply the African market were identified as areas with significant potential for improvement through better planning and more focused allocation of resources. The implementation of initiatives to support this will commence during quarter 4 2012, with the financial benefits expected to be realised over a three-year period commencing next year.

Peter Starling

Excitement at distillery upgrade The upgrade of the distillery in the potable section is NCP Alcohols’ largest and most complicated project since the distillery expansion in 2005. The project is being managed in-house by Stephen Kitching, Process Engineer, and commissioning is planned to take place during May 2013. The upgrade will see the existing five small potable columns replaced with one large 73-tray column, and the demeth column replaced with a brand new topping column. The recovery column will be scrapped and the feed will be diverted to the recovery column at the top distillery, which will have a new, larger re-boiler fitted to handle the higher throughput. The wash column which was replaced in 2006 will remain as is. The new potable section will consist of three columns and will be re-instrumented and operated from the central control room. Some of the benefits of the project include reduced complexity, making the distillery easier to operate. The plant’s capacity is also expected to increase from 54 to 84 kl AA per day. The taller columns, combined with a twin re-boiler on the topping column, are expected to produce Extra Neutral Potable quality as the standard.

Stephen Kitching, Process Engineer and Project Manager, with Zwe Mbele, Operations Controller, Old Distillery, at the “bottom distillery”.

So far, all major mechanical items have been designed, tendered and orders placed; delivery is expected in the first week of December. Said Stephen, “This project is being led and managed by the company for the company, and the amount of teamwork and enthusiasm from the project team so far has been overwhelming, especially the initial procurement.” The high-calibre team is working together with one common goal: to commission during May 2013.

Front cover: NEWS YOU CAN RE-USE



Naadira Nadasen and Mark Immelman in their recyclable outfits. Read all about it!

Awesome audits ... every time

Sometimes just mentioning the word “audit” is enough to raise our stress levels and send a company into a panic state. Some may even compare the anticipation to a visit to the dentist … you know that you have to do it but would rather avoid it if possible. But, is it really that bad? If so, why does it have to be? We asked Lorraine Mudaly, SHEQ Manager at NCP Alcohols, to shed some light on the various audits and what they do. According to Mudaly, auditing is merely a tool used to verify compliance; either to standard requirements or to legislative requirements, and NCP Alcohols is now certified to four management systems, namely: • ISO 9001 which is a quality management system that focuses on meeting customer requirements • ISO 14001 which is an environmental management system that focuses on eliminating or minimising impacts to the environment from the company’s activities

• OHSAS 18001 is a health and safety management system that focuses on preventing injury and illness to our staff, and • HACCP is a food safety management system that focuses on eliminating hazards so that a safe food product can be produced for consumption. A minimum of four audits are done per year; one on each of the above four management systems. In addition to that, the company also has two legal compliance audits, one for health and safety and the other on the environment. The purpose of these audits is to verify compliance to both local and national laws – and the company may be liable for penalties if found to be non-compliant. How to always be prepared for audits; • Be aware what the standard and legal requirements are. • Where policies and procedures are already in place, follow them. • Always make sure that we do what we say and say what we do, so policies and procedures must be current. • Do things right the first time so that you won’t need to correct it later. • Always practise good housekeeping in the area where you work. • Maintain good document control practices because if you can’t prove that something was done then it wasn’t done. • Do not pollute the environment. • Work safe, and always remember: safety first.

A problem shared .... is halved

In an effort to promote the highest degree of mental and physical wellness, NCP Alcohols has established a support platform for its employees via the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) – the complete policy is available for viewing on SharePoint. Its purpose is to offer confidential counselling or advisory services and professional assistance to employees who need help with particular problems affecting their wellbeing, both personally and in the workplace. Preshina Pandarum-Moodley is the company’s EAP Counsellor who will guide, counsel and assist employees who seek assistance under the programme by providing appropriate information regarding available options and resources. Preshina can be contacted on 031 560 1224 or We asked a few staff their views on the recent Stress Management Workshops provided by the company during August as part of EAP. The workshops were facilitated by Tracy Wise, Psychologist specialising in industrial psychology.

Ashika Jithoo, Operations Controller: Yes, it was really amazing with a fresh outlook on life from a different perspective. I would suggest that we have them more often. Sue Stewart, Receptionist: Too much continued stress can seriously affect our physical and mental wellbeing; it can also impair relationships. Learning how to deal with stress can only improve our relationships with each other. Peter Brown, Financial Controller: Tracy Wise’s use of her personal life examples was excellent! Pat Ewing, Executive Secretary: Great, our facilitator was a star, explaining that there is help out there, we must just try to be positive, relax and realise the world is not all bad –especially if we can help one another. Renaud Bergonzoli, Export Manager: One should not stress out but rather chill out! Rather chill out every now and then to avoid burnout. We all have the clout to bow out for a while when things get a bit hectic.




Our Junk to Funk staff function reminde have to re-use our junk or trash so that our junk footprint. Our staff were given come up with an idea of how recycled m have various uses and we even asked th Kenville Primary to each make us a flow material as dĂŠcor for the function. We r 800 flowers from our little friends at the year, NCP Alcohols will have its own carbon footprint; see s

Back from left: Mrs R Saikoolal, deputy principal, Kenville Primary School, Julian Arran, Rodgers Niranjan and Mr KV Kassie, principal; centre, Thobile Dlamini and Lindokuhle Ndlovu; front, Lerato Thusi, Kirthi Jagdoe and Ayden Shunmugam.




ed staff that we we can minimise free rein to material can he learners from wer out of recycled received over e school. Later this a better idea of story on page 8.



Only the best students will do NCP Alcohols took part in the World of Work Careers Fair at the Durban University of Technology; the fair is a university-industry partnership which allows students and industry to engage on training and employment. The variety of careers and the various in-service student positions offered at NCP Alcohols marked the company as an employer of choice. Feedback from the 2011 fair indicated that the fair made a significant difference to the quality of student that was employed later in the year.



into success By Patrick Madladla, Logistics Manager An accumulation of life’s everyday annoyances can build up significant stress levels – perhaps even more than one single traumatic event. As the old saying goes, “It’s the little things that bother us, and put us on the rack; you can sit upon a mountain, but you can’t sit on a tack.” Some practical tips from Patrick Madladla on how to turn your stress into success: 1. The starting point to turn stress into success is to lessen your load. Eighty percent (80%) of the cure can come out of writing down all your cares and responsibilities in order of priority, then eliminating the least important.

Lumeshni Govender, left, and Preshina Pandarum-Moodley advise students at DUT about in-service training at NCP Alcohols.

2. Remember that Superman and Superwoman exist only in comics and films. Everybody has a breaking point, so recognise yours and call a halt before you reach your limit. 3. With stress comes pent-up feelings. Get them “off your chest” by sharing them with a trusted friend or counsellor. This brings immediate relief and helps you to think and plan more objectively. 4. Stop fighting situations that can’t be changed. As one father told his impatient teenager, “If you would only realise and accept the fact that life is a struggle, things would be so much easier for you.” Learning to live with and get on top of struggles is what helps us grow and mature. 5. Make time for rest and relaxation. Learn to “come apart and rest a while before you come apart”.

Patrick Madladla as seen at the recycle party.

Teamwork from Timms Kelvin Timm, SHEQ Officer at NCP Alcohols, recently shared in a wonderful achievement by his wife: she was awarded the 2012 International Travel Award by the International Relations Committee of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). In the photo alongside, taken on 13 April 2012, Kelvin and Delysia can be seen in front of the Vancouver Convention Centre in Canada, where Delysia delivered a paper titled: ‘How



Is the Process of Self-Study Transforming Me as a Doctoral Researcher and as an Academic at a University of Technology in South Africa?’ Delysia holds the position of Advisor: Special Projects in the office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the Durban University of Technology, and attributes her achievement to unfailing support from her husband and sons.

Kelvin Timm and his wife Delysia in Vancouver.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship by NCP Alcohols and the enthusiasm of staff and in-service trainees, we served warm plates of breyani, prepared and arranged by Food for Life at Inanda Special School and Kenville Primary School to almost 1000 learners, teachers and helpers on 18 July 2012, Mandela Day.

Celebrating Mandela Day in the community

MD Peter Starling, who shares his birthday with Nelson Mandela, attended the Kenville Primary serving session and was treated to the singing of “Happy Birthday to you”, sung by the 850 learners of Kenville. This great morning was shared by staff, contractors, teachers and learners – an event the company will try to repeat each year.

NCP people fed 1000 children at Inanda (above and bottom right) and at Kenville.



Watch your (next) step! We’re reducing our carbon footprint With carbon taxes and carbon budgeting likely to be introduced in South Africa in 2013/2014, it is necessary for businesses to start measuring, monitoring and managing their carbon emissions, and to that end NCP Alcohols has proposed a project to reduce their carbon emissions before the year 2014. NCP Alcohols is taking responsibility for measuring and reducing its carbon footprint because climate change is one of the major challenges facing people globally – and the natural environment. South Africa is one of Africa’s significant emitters, with estimated total emissions standing at about 500-million tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) a year. Although companies are feeling pressure from various quarters to decrease their carbon footprint, few are doing so in a co-ordinated fashion, mainly because they are not set up to understand the effects of carbon footprinting end-to-end. The costs of carbon footprinting and the benefits thereof are felt in different parts of the business, so it is important to tackle the project by combining the contributing parties and leading them to work together in the best interests of the whole business.


WHAT IS A CARBON FOOTPRINT? The carbon footprint is the overall amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (e.g. methane, laughing gas, etc.) associated with a product along its supply-chain, and sometimes including its end-of-life recovery and disposal. Companies are discharging greenhouse gases in increasing volumes directly and indirectly, and are thereby contributing to climate change. GHGs are generated in, for example, electricity production in power plants, heating with fossil fuels, transport operations and other industrial and agricultural processes. The carbon footprint is quantified using indicators such as the Global Warming Potential (GWP). As defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a GWP is an indicator that reflects the relative effect of a greenhouse gas in terms of climate change considering a fixed time period, such as 100 years (GWP100). The GWPs for different emissions can then be added together to give one single indicator that expresses the overall contribution to climate change of these emissions.


Laduma October 2012  

NCP Alcohols Newsletter