BMW Braves Stench to Power South African Plant With Manure
Comment of the Day

October 16 2015

Commentary by David Fuller

BMW Braves Stench to Power South African Plant With Manure

Here is the opening of this informative article from Bloomberg:

BMW AG’s car-assembly plant in South Africa is doing its bit to help the German carmaker edge toward a global target to supply all its production with renewable energy: It’s getting some of its power from cow manure.

The company has agreed to a 10-year deal to buy as much as 4.4 megawatts of electricity from a biogas plant about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from its factory north-west of Pretoria, the South African capital. Surrounded by land where about 30,000 cattle graze, the operation runs off gas emitted by a fetid mixture of dung and organic waste ranging from sour yogurt to discarded dog food.

The deal with Bio2Watt (Pty) Ltd., the closely held company that operates the power plant, was struck to bring Munich-based BMW a step closer to its renewable target, according to the carmaker’s South Africa spokesman Diederik Reitsma. The biogas facility, when ramped up to full capacity, will represent 25 percent to 30 percent of the electricity consumption at BMW’s factory, he said in an interview at the car plant.

“We are a big consumer, so that’s a lot,” Reitsma said. “It’s waste no longer wasted.”

BMW already purchases about 51 percent of its energy from renewable energy sources, according to the company. In South Africa, the carmaker may consider other clean-energy sources including solar for the Rosslyn factory, which was BMW’s first foreign plant when it was established in 1973. The facility produces more than 60,000 3-Series sedans a year for local and export markets and produced its one-millionth vehicle in February.

David Fuller's view

Well, the Germany automobile industry has been deep in it, as they say, under suspicion following the VW scandal.  Consequently, it is a welcome relief to see some positive news.

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) (est p/e 9.43 & yield 2.34%) remains cheap while producing world-class automobiles for middleclass consumers everywhere.

BMW is in my personal long-term investment portfolio and I last increased this holding on 30th September.  The share is only a little higher today in what increasingly looks like a developing base formation, capable of reaffirming the long-term upward trend next year.  

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