Lafarge Africa, one of the leading cement manufacturers in Nigeria, has restated its commitment to use renewable energy to enhance sustainable development of the construction industry and protection of the environment.
The Plant Manager, Lafarge Africa, Mr Olusegun Soyoye, made the assertion during a tour of the cement plant at Ewekoro in Ogun State. Soyoye said that Lafarge Africa’s strategic plan was to conduct business with zero harm to people and the environment through developing solutions that optimise natural resources for power generation.
He said that the company had substituted fossil fuel with the use of renewable energy to generate electricity toward mitigating production disruptions arising from unstable power supply and gas shortage to the industrial sector.
“We are using palm kernel shells to produce biomass that fuels our plant and 134 hectares of trees have been planted for this purpose.
“Capabilities of burning industrial waste, residual dry fuel (RDF) from municipal solid waste and use of shredded tyres is proposed for fourth quarter.
“Alternative fuel usage is in place on Kiln one and will be implemented on kiln two by the fourth quarter in 2018.
“Ewekoro plant one has moved from 100 per cent reliance on gas and low pour fuel oil (LPFO) to about 50 per cent use of alternative fuels.
“We are constantly working to reduce energy consumption and carbon emission at all stages of our production process by improving sourcing of electricity from renewable energy,” he said.
Soyoye said that the technology would be replicated at all Lafarge plants across the country. Àlso, Mrs Titilope Oguntuga, the Lafarge’s Communication and States Relations Manager, said that the company had invested in forging strong ties with its host communities through its various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes.
Oguntuga said that one of such programmes was the Cement Professionals Training Programme (CPTP) that aims at training youths toward bridging skills gap in cement industry and increasing local content of Lafarge operations in Nigeria.
“The three years training programmes, include mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, instrumentation and automation technology, cement manufacturing process and entrepreneurship,’’ she said.
In her remarks, Mrs Olufunke Madojutimi, the Environment Manager, Ewekoro Plant, said that Lafarge Africa’s production programmes has contributed to long-term socioeconomic and environmental development of the country.
Madojutimi said that the quest for attaining a safe and healthy environment was the responsibility of governments, individuals and corporate organisations.
According to the Tide, Lafarge Africa has installed cement capacity of 10.5 million tonnes in Nigeria. It has 4.5 tonnes in the South-West (with three plants in Ogun), one tonne in Ashaka Cement Plc., in Gombe State, and five tonnes in United Cement Company of Nigeria Ltd. in Cross River.