Cogeneration is set for growth in South Africa’s mineral processing industry, a recent report found.

According to the report from analysis firm Frost & Sullivan, while South Africa’s cogeneration sector is still nascent, changing business models for companies such as mineral smelters point to an uptake in installations. The report found that engineering firms are already starting to design furnaces that incorporate cogeneration systems.

Frost & Sullivan said its report focused on the mineral processing industry as power accounts for around 30% of its operating costs, and energy efficiency is a crucial metric for its investors. Further penetration of cogeneration systems into the sector will also be driven by rising power costs, environmental concerns and the need for energy security, it said.

South Africa’s cogeneration feed-in tariff (COFIT), in place since 2011, is expected to drive development funding toward the cogen sector. In 2015 the nation also increased its 2012 Cogen IPP Procurement Programme from 800 MW to 1800 MW. 

An estimated market size of 1277 MW is available to be developed, Frost & Sullivan’s report found. 

South Africa’s first cogeneration plant came online in 2015,  producing 4.9 MW for use by mineral processing firm Anglo American Platinum (AmPlats) at a smelting plant. The 155 million rand ($10 million) project uses Organic Rankine Cycle technology from US-based geothermal and heat recovery firm Ormat.