Africa’s biggest hospital goes green, rejects coal and diesel-powered equipment

Africa’s biggest hospital goes green, rejects coal and diesel-powered equipment

All equipment running with coal and diesel energy at South Africa’s Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Africa’s biggest healthcare centre with over 5000 beds, will soon be replaced with natural gas-powered equipment, and this include boilers, the provincial department of infrastructure development (DID) in Gauteng announced yesterday in Johannesburg.

The natural gas-fuelled power plant will meet all the hospital’s energy, steam, hot water, cooling and heating needs, and will perform all the functions currently performed by coal or diesel boilers, the department said.

This is part of the hospital’s efforts to reduce its electricity bills, with the potential to feed any excess electrical power generated into the national grid and the reduction of pollution, DID boss Qedani Mahlangu said, adding that the province was committed to a greener economy.

South Africa, which draws 95% of its electricity from coal, is Africa’s biggest polluter, emitting over 50% of all total continental greenhouse gas.

Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital is located in Soweto, while Gauteng is Africa’s fourth-biggest economy and South Africa’s richest province, generating over 35% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

DID was committed to creating and maintaining a green and sustainable Gauteng with every new school, multipurpose centre and hospital it builds, Mahlangu said.

“We are moving decisively into the green energy space, and will over the next few years take bold decisions and undertake ambitious projects that will reduce our carbon footprint, improve the energy efficiency of government buildings and public facilities such as schools, clinics, and hospitals,” Mahlangu said.

“By taking the lead as government, we are challenging fellow citizens as well as the private sector to join us in taking these small steps today that will ensure our energy security and save our environment.”

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