• Friday, July 19, 2024
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In race toward clean energy, Nigerian Bottling Company takes early lead

In race toward clean energy, Nigerian Bottling Company takes early lead

There are two things most Nigerian city dwellers know better than the back of their hands: nonstop noise and poor air quality caused mostly by fumes emanating from industrial generators, vehicles, and the inescapable urban clatter. These types of environmental problems, especially atmospheric pollution, endanger the ecosystem and pose serious health hazards for human life.

In Lagos, Nigeria alone, a 2020 World Bank study estimated that atmospheric air pollution led to 11,200 premature deaths in 2018, reportedly the highest in West Africa. Children below the age of five were most affected, accounting for about 60percent of total deaths while adults majorly suffered from heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In the same year, air pollution cost Lagos State $2.1 billion, amounting to about 2.1percent of the state’s GDP.

But organisations like the Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd (NBC), a member of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC), are confident that renewable energy can make the difference.

Since the installation of its first Combined Heat Power (CHP) plant in 2011, an energy-efficient technology, the Company has continued to scale its investments in the clean energy transition. It recently rolled out its ambitious roadmap to renewable energy transition, a move that is expected to transform Nigeria’s manufacturing scene in the years to come.

The company disclosed it has made significant investments in optimising its energy mix to incorporate more renewable energy sources, as part of a commitment to achieve its Net Zero emissions target by 2040. According to its Managing Director, Matthieu Seguin, it is a commitment that is central to NBC’s future growth.

“At NBC, we believe in constantly challenging ourselves, asking the difficult questions and rethinking our paradigms to improve how we create and deliver value. We believe that it is not enough to deliver unbeatable refreshments to millions of our consumers. We are passionate about doing so in the most sustainable way that takes into cognizance the primacy of people and the planet,” he said.

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In January 2020, NBC commenced the process of migrating its manufacturing plants to solar energy sources.

Of the eight NBC manufacturing plants in Nigeria, four have since embraced the innovation. Today, 50percent of its manufacturing plants are now powered in part by solar energy which delivers up to 3,640-Kilowatt peak power output (KWp) to the facilities.

The power delivered by these installations can power over 2,100 standard three-bedroom homes. With further installations expected to continue through this year 2022 to ensure even more sustainable growth across its ecosystem, NBC will be implementing solar power solutions in its Ikeja, Benin, Owerri and Port Harcourt plants; bringing its total installed capacity to 15,947 KWp from solar energy alone which is equivalent to saving over 167,000 trees.

Additionally, NBC continues to invest over N1.7 billion annually running its six CHP plants located in five of its manufacturing plants across Nigeria.

This investment is significant on two core levels. One, research has shown that an estimated two-thirds of the energy used by conventional electricity generation is wasted in the form of heat discharged to the atmosphere. Energy is also wasted during the distribution of electricity to end-users.

Two, it’s a major win for the environment. Every year, the CHP installations in NBC Port-Harcourt, Ikeja, Benin, Owerri, and Asejire Plants reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 71,883 Tons, equivalent to over three million trees saved.

Beyond the direct impact on reduced emissions, NBC’s renewable energy project also supports 300 additional jobs with further 480 jobs forecasted to be created across the value chain this year.

These efforts indicate that a transition to a low-carbon economy is possible, affordable in the long run and highly necessary for industries to adopt, particularly due to its positive impact on the host communities and the ecosystem at large.

NBC is also deepening its energy transition through a systematic evolution of its trucks from conventional Diesel to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The fleet conversion project trial, in which Diesel-powered trucks are replaced with CNG-powered trucks, has seen ten of such trucks already introduced into its fleet. As a cleaner energy source, the initiative has resulted in cumulative CO2 emission savings of 17 Tons every month.