The Federal Government through the Ministry of Environment has commended Nigerian Breweries Plc following the successful launch of a world-class 663.6 kWp Solar Power Plant for its Ibadan brewery operation which is aimed at ensuring a greener, cleaner and more sustainable environment in Oyo State and Nigeria.
The Minister of Environment, Muhammad Mahmood who was represented by the Director-General, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Prof Adeshola Adepoju gave the commendation in a goodwill message at the formal commissioning ceremony of the Solar Power Plant held on May 20.
Mahmood described the initiative as an important milestone in tackling the challenges of climate change and environmental sustainability in the country.
“This admirable initiative will significantly contribute to effectively tackling climate change while enhancing energy security,” he said.
“It will also help in creating jobs, reducing industrial carbon footprint, transiting to a low carbon resilient economy as well as making our economies more resilient to the future energy crisis. It will also ensure a balance between development, economic, social and environmental sustainability for present and future generations.” added.
Speaking earlier at the official commissioning, Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde commended the management of Nigerian Breweries Plc for investing in a solar plant that would promote environmental sustainability, stating that his administration would continue to play its part by supporting businesses domiciled in the state to grow.
“This is another first in Oyo State. When history will be written on how NB Plc shifted from electricity to renewable energy, it would be said that Ibadan Plant was the first and as a government, we are very proud to be part of this story,” he added.
In her remarks, the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor equally applauded the company on the groundbreaking project describing it as a significant landmark for renewable energy access/utilization for manufacturing businesses in Nigeria.
Ikeazor noted that it was heartwarming to note that the company is already taking ambitious steps to transition a greater percentage of its electricity usage to renewable energy, stating that not only would such action save the planet but it would also help to create employment opportunities for the youth.
“All hands must be on deck to accelerate action that would reduce carbon emission and protect the environment. Today, NB Plc is taking a very bold and ambitious step in the right direction with this Solar Power commissioning and the overall plan to transition 70 per cent of electricity use in its brewery production to renewable energy.”
“This is a win-win plan as it not only supports climate change mitigation through reduced carbon emission but it would also help the company save money in the long run. This is in addition to the new jobs and opportunities this creates for our teeming youth in Nigeria,” she added.
She stated that the FG would continue to take required steps to ensure that business-led climate interventions such as that of Nigerian Breweries are showcased as a shining example for others to follow.
She urged the company to continue on this path by ensuring that it is replicated in other regions where its plants are located.
Delivering his welcome remarks, the Chairman of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Chief (Dr) Kolawole Jamodu extolled the governor for his efforts in positioning the state as an investment destination and creating a conducive environment for constructing the 663.6kwp Solar Power Plant.
He expressed his delight at the project completion, describing it as a demonstration of NB’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
Delivering his keynote speech, the Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Jordi Borrut Bel described the project as a first of its kind in the manufacturing sector as Nigerian Breweries is the first brewer in Nigeria to commission a solar power plant providing renewable, clean energy for manufacturing.
Bel disclosed that in addition to this solar plant in Ibadan, the company is already developing other renewable energy plants in its other breweries to ensure that 70 per cent of the electricity used in all of its breweries are powered from clean sources.
“We are not only interested in being Number 1 in Sales and profitability. We also want to be number 1 in environmental sustainability – ensuring that the communities where our breweries are located benefit from our operations in the best possible way” he said.
“Apart from developing renewable energies to ensure cleaner air, we are also investing heavily in ensuring cleaner water for our communities.
As such, we have taken great pains to build a state of the art, wastewater treatment plant in our breweries to ensure that we do not cause water pollution. All wastewater produced from the brewery are properly treated and monitored in line with regulatory requirements before they are discharged, making them safe and not harmful to aquatic life and the environment in general,” he added.
He disclosed that the plant which was built at the cost of over N300 million is part of NB Plc’s Brew A Better World sustainability agenda, which is aimed at meeting the company’s carbon neutrality targets through increased energy efficiency in its production.
He further revealed that the solar plant was built through a fully financed solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) executed with Crossboundary Energy Limited. It is expected to supply approximately 800 MWh to the brewery annually, providing a significant reduction to the current cost of power, while also reducing the plant’s CO2 emissions by over 10,000 tonnes over the lifespan of the plant.