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Innovation from H1 Holdings by innovator Reyburn Hendricks.

To power the equivalent of 2 million households with cleaner energy by 2035.

Photo of Janine Tilley
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Reyburn Hendricks is an innovative leader from Cape Town, South Africa. Reyburn is directly involved in multiple innovative clean energy projects in South Africa. Janine Tilley is the author of this contribution and is a Project Manager for H1 Holdings and its subsidiaries.


The purpose of H1 Holdings is to improve the quality of lives by producing cleaner energy. Its long-term goal is to power the equivalent of 2 million households with cleaner energy. H1 Holdings aims to achieve this by developing, investing in and operating clean power plants.


Currently H1 Holdings is an equity participant in 4 renewable energy and clean energy power plants which will ultimately have a peak generation capacity of 162 megawatts. These projects are:

  • a 15 megawatt biomass power plant
  • a 138 megawatt wind farm
  • a 4.7 megawatt hydro power plant
  • a 4.3 megawatt Thermal Harvesting™ power plant called Eternity Power.
Aerial view of Eternity Power

Reyburn is a director of Eternity Power which is an award winning clean energy project is based at the Anglo American Platinum Waterval Smelter in Rustenberg, South Africa. The ground breaking plant started generating electricity in June 2015 and uses waste heat from the smelter to generate  electricity. Reyburn is also a director of the innovative Mkuze Biomass project in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The biomass project is the first biomass power project of its kind in South Africa. In addition, H1 Holdings is also involved in  the Roggeveld Wind Farm project, a 138 MW wind farm situated between Sutherland and Laingsburg in the Northern Cape. The Kruisvallei Hydro project is a 4.7 MW project along the Orange River in the Orange Free State province, South Africa.

Mkuze Biomass Project

Reyburn and H1 Holdings have an active business development programme to grow this pipeline.

Reyburn Hendricks


What's the story? Reyburn was born in Cape Town in 1972. He matriculated from St. Georges’ Grammar School and completed his A levels at Haileybury College in England. He has a Bachelor in Business Science from UCT and is Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder. Professionally, he is a member of The Investment Analysts Society and the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation.

After university he began working in the financial services sector in the asset management and private equity sectors. In 2007, Reyburn left the last company he worked for as an employee and set up H1 Holdings of which he is the majority shareholder and CEO. H1 Holdings’ purpose is to improve the quality of lives by producing cleaner energy. How it does this is by developing, investing in and operating clean energy power plants. Its long-term goal is to power the equivalent of 2 million households with cleaner energy by 2035.

H1 Holdings

From a standing start he has led H1 Holdings to be one of the leading companies in the clean energy space in South Africa. The group is involved in 4 renewable and clean energy power plants with a cumulative peak capacity of 162 megawatts, and with a future pipeline larger than this.


H1 Holdings is involved in two broad areas in the energy sector :

  • a participant in the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) under which it is involved in 3 renewable energy power projects which will supply electricity to South Africa’s national grid
  •  a participant in the co-generation space by which H1 Holdings generates electricity by harvesting waste energy from industrial clients. The group has one project called Eternity Power operating at a platinum smelter generating 4.3 megawatts of clean electrical energy. Eternity Power was inducted into the 2015 SA Innovation Awards Hall of Fame. A suite of Thermal Harvesting™ patents were were registered in developing the technical specifications of this project. One of the employees in the H1 Holdings group won Innovator of the Year at the 2015 SA Innovation Awards for the  work done in developing these patents. The co-generation space ha enormous potential and it is estimated that there is 500 megawatts of wasted electrical energy in the smelter sector in South Africa alone.


How did they get into their work? Reyburn’s core value is Contribution and this is a value which is consistent in his personal life and in his working life. He is deeply concerned about the potential environmental degradation of the planet and wanted to find a way to help counteract this. South Africa’s electricity generation is very “dirty” with over 90% of the electricity generated being sourced from coal-fired power stations. South Africa is also experiencing power shortages which is damaging of the economic potential of the country. In 2010 Reyburn began looking at the sector and by entering it found a way to align his personal values together with making a contribution to the global environmental crisis and the electricity shortages in South Africa.

Why are they an effective innovator? Reyburn is effective because he is always looking at  and experimenting with different ways to solve real world problems. This persistent curiosity together with the ability to lead a group of people to do the same has meant that H1 Holdings has been effective in being on the path to achieve its purpose.

Why is this important? Reyburn is father of two young children. He believes that we are all stewards of the planet for future generations. He intends to do his part to ensure that what is handed over is in a better condition. If H1 Holdings were to achieve its purpose by producing the equivalent of cleaner power for 2 million house holds it would result in achieving this intention. By doing so he hopes to be a role model to his children and inspire others to do the same.


Building new technology and investigating new business models is a very expensive and time-consuming exercise. The H1 Holdings group has direct experience in both these areas and is very aware of the difficulties.

The development of the Eternity Power project took 5 years to come fruition from the time of the first approach to Anglo Platinum to the eventual operation of the power plant. The reasons for the long development period were the following :

  • This was the first time in the world that the particular set of technology decided upon was used in a smelter environment. As such, a significant amount of development work was required to be carried out which resulted in the development and registration of a suite of Thermal Harvesting™ patents
    • In addition, a new business model had to be formulated to fund the power plant as Anglo Platinum was unwilling to spend the capex themselves or willing to operate the power plant – as no company in South Africa had ever built or operated this type of plant before. In the end, one of H1 Holdings’ subsidiaries formulated a business model along the lines of an Energy Conversion Agreement with Anglo Platinum and took on the role of operating the power plant.


If young companies are to succeed in building new technologies and developing new business models, they will need a lot of support to do this to achieve their purpose. In our case, the key factors to success are:  access to capital for the technology development process as well as the commercialization of the business idea, the acceptance by potential clients and offtakers of these ideas and business models as well as the acceptance of the regulatory authorities to new business models. By Reyburn being accepted as an OpenIDEO Climate Fellow and by the company being celebrated, it may make the process of achieving H1 Holdings’ purpose easier in the following respects:

  • it will give Reyburn and H1 Holdings an additional level of credibility when dealing with funders, clients, offtakers and regulatory authorities
  • networking opportunities to interact with global leading experts on climate change
  • he will gain storytelling skills to more persuasively make a case for H1 Holdings when interacting with potential funders, clients/offtakers and regulatory authorities.
  • Reyburn may learn other skills during the fellowship and be exposed to new ideas and management practices which will allow H1 Holdings to achieve scale and more effectively meet its purpose


Read more about H1 Holdings www.h1holdings.co.za and follow Reyburn on Twitter twitter.com/ReyburnH.  Vuselela Energy is also on Twitter twitter.com/vuselelaenergy



Where is this innovation/innovator located at? Be as specific as you can (country and city).

Cape Town, South Africa. The award winning Eternity Power Thermal Harvesting project operates from Rustenberg in the North West province. The Mkuze Biomass project operates from Kwa Zulu Natal and the Roggeveld Wind Farm is a 138 MW wind project situated between Sutherland and Laingsburg in the Northern Cape. Kruisvallei Hydro is a 4.7 MW hydro project along the Orange River using the flows released from the Vanderkloof dam.

If you are an innovator, how can OpenIDEO support you? What are your current needs? If you are not an innovator, tell us what you do and what your needs are.

By being accepted as an OpenIDEO Climate Fellow and by the company being celebrated, the process of achieving H1 Holdings’ purpose may be made easier in the following respects: It will give Reyburn and H1 Holdings an additional level of credibility when dealing with funders, clients, offtakers and regulatory authorities. OpenIDEO will open networking opportunities to interact with global leading experts on climate change. We will gain storytelling skills to more persuasively make a case for H1 Holdings when interacting with potential funders, clients/offtakers and regulatory authorities. Reyburn may learn other skills during the fellowship and be exposed to new ideas and management practices which will allow H1 Holdings to achieve scale and more effectively meet its purpose.

How did you find out about this challenge? (Check all that apply)

  • Email from OpenIDEO

Would you like to be involved in Accelerate in the future? (Check all that apply)

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Attachments (13)

SAEE Awards Finalist Announcement.pdf

The Eternity Power project and Vuselela Energy were finalists in the Newcomer of the Year award at the Southern African Energy Efficiency Association Awards. Jacques Malan, Director of Eternity Power and Vuselela Energy was a finalist in the Energy Patron of the Year award. Reyburn Hendricks is a director at Vuselela Energy and is active in the operation and management of the company. H1 Holdings has a majority shareholding in Vuselela Energy.

20150929 theDTI Media Statements Eternity.pdf

Eternity Power officially opened on the 28th of September 2015. The Minister of the Department of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, gave the keynote address. The Department supported the project financially and was proud to be a part of its innovation. In this article the Minister states that his department recognises the innovative achievements of Eternity Power and mentions Reyburn Hendricks and his contribution.

20150929 AngloAmerican Article Eternity.pdf

By substituting the use of clean electricity generated by Eternity Power (which would otherwise have been purchased by the smelter from ESKOM), the process results in a reduction of the Anglo American Platinum smelter’s carbon footprint and a more efficient use of its energy. This first of its kind clean energy plant has revolutionised the economical use of waste heat in the smelter sector. It is a concept that can be replicated in the broader metallurgical sector.

20150928 Mining Weekly Article Eternity.pdf

In the process of developing the concept and proving the technical feasibility, Vuselela Energy has in conjunction with EPS developed a suite of Thermal Harvesting™ patents, all of which have now been awarded and registered in South Africa. These patents were developed specifically for the purpose of capturing and harnessing waste thermal energies from metallurgical and chemical processes for the purpose of power generation and are likely also patentable worldwide.

20150929 Business Day Article Eternity.pdf

Both Eternity Power and Vuselela Energy are subsidiaries of H1 Holdings (Pty) Ltd. H1 Holdings is 100% black owned and managed and has a level 1 BBBEE accreditation. H1 Holdings is active in the strategic management of Eternity Power and Vuselela Energy.

TSiBA_2014_Annual_Report RH pages.pdf

Reyburn is director of TSIBA Education (www.tsiba.org.za) and a founding trustee of the TSIBA Education Trust, which is the university’s endowment arm. TSIBA was founded 10 years ago and is an accredited university offering funded degrees to high quality students who are unable to afford to tertiary education. H1 Holdings annually contributes to the cost of a bursary of a student undertaking a four year degree. Reyburn volunteers at least 60 hours a year towards TSIBA.

Eternity Smelter for Website High Res.jpg

The Eternity Power Thermal Harvesting™ power plant is a clean energy power plant based at the Anglo American Platinum Waterval Smelting Complex near Rustenburg in the North West Province. The project was developed by Vuselela Energy in collaboration with Anglo American Platinum. The plant uses waste heat from the converter cooling circuit at the Anglo Converting Process to generate up to 4.3MW of electricity which is used by the Waterval Smelter complex for its general power consumption.

20150925 Eternity Power Presentation revised for Opening Compressed.pdf

This is a four page presentation on Eternity Power. This presentation details the different stakeholders in the project and provides the remarkable results seen in the second month of its operation. The presentation also gives focus to the innovation behind Eternity Power.

Eternity Power Aerial .jpg

The Eternity Power Thermal Harvesting™ power plant has the following advantages for the smelter: Completely clean energy Competitive effective electricity price relative to Eskom Zero capital expenditure required from the smelter Zero operational or maintenance expenditure required from the smelter Fixed pricing increases for 15 years resulting in predictable pricing Security of Supply in terms of: • Guaranteed output capacity • Guaranteed conversion efficiency • Guaranteed availability

Ribbon Cut.jpg

Eternity Power was officially launched in September 2015 by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies.

Medium Shot Hands Together.jpg

The Eternity Power project represents a structural innovation in terms of bringing together a large number of project partners with differing needs and objectives to effect the successful commercial operation of the project. This photograph features executives from Anglo American Platinum, the Director General of the Department of Trade and Industry, the Minister from the Department, Jacques Malan and Reyburn Hendricks.

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