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South Africa: Geothermal to power new boutique hotel in Port Alfred

A seventy percent reduction in energy consumption is targeted for a new hotel development in Port Alfred through the application of geo thermal energy.
Eastern Cape developer Novate Property Investments is building a R10-million 17-room boutique hotel on the banks of the Kowie River in Port Alfred. The four-star hotel, set to be completed by the end of April, will use geothermal technology - using the energy of the earth‘s surface - to reduce the hotel‘s power consumption by 70 per cent as well as reduce the hotel and guests‘ carbon footprint. The million-rand technology will be used to heat water, provide air-conditioning as well as the heating for the swimming pool. "Geothermal energy is not a new technology and has been used for decades to heat and air condition buildings. When using geothermal heat pump technology, one taps into the earth‘s surface energy which is used to drive a heating and air conditioning system," said Novate Property Investments‘ strategic development manager Grant Wheatley. Other green elements include the capture of rainwater which will be stored and filtered on site for drinking. Many of the electrical light fittings will be low energy fittings (LED). The design also includes use of natural light and ventilation. Toilets in the hotel will be dual flush and aerated taps have been installed in the restrooms. Paper used in the administration of the business will be 100% recycled and pencils will be certified as coming from sustainable forests.

While the geothermal technology makes the hotel green compliant, it boasts six premium suites together with a honeymoon suite, complete with a spa bath. All rooms come with the standard top-class finishes such as air-conditioning, a LCD TV screen with 10 satellite channels and digital safes. Furthermore, conference- type facilities with a restaurant and bar are also available. The design of the hotel, which is based on a unique blend of clean, modern interiors, is softened by an elegant organic touch. Novate Project Services has been managing the project from the feasibility stage through to the implementation of the hotel operations. However, there are some parts of the building which have been sourced overseas. These include geothermal equipment, laminated wooden flooring, card key systems and the Ericsson telephone system. Novate Property Investments is one of four divisions of Novate Holdings; the former had its beginnings in a hardware chain which was started in King William‘s Town by founder Ivan Senar about 13 years ago.

Additional information:
News date: 12/02/2009

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