According to its investment strategy, the Nigerian Breweries Plc, is targeting to achieve over 70 per cent renewable energy usage by 2030.
The company explained that the move is part of its contribution to reducing carbon footprints from its production plants across the country.
The Managing Director of the company, Jordi Borrut Bel, who stated this at the official commissioning of its 663.6kw solar power plant in Ibadan, said the project would reduce its carbon emission from its Ibadan brewery by 10,000 tonnes over its lifespan.
“We are brewing a better world by significantly reducing carbon emission from our production sites by 2030,” he said. He noted that plans are also underway to expand the project as well as commission other similar solar plants in all its Aba, Enugu and Lagos bottling plants.
According to him, “We do not want to only be the number one in sales and profitability; we also want to be the number one in environmental sustainability to enable the communities we operate in to benefit from our operations in the best possible way.”
He said with the investment, the firm seeks to be the leading sustainable and environmental brewer in the country, while urging other manufacturers to emulate the initiative to preserve the environment.
The solar power plant is expected to provide 800 megawatts of power yearly.
“This means clean energy for us at Nigerian Breweries, but it also means clean energy and air to the people of Ibadan and Ogun State,” he said.
The Governor of Oyo State, Oluseyi Makinde, said his administration was building an environment that supports enterprise, adding that the state understands the significance of the work of large corporations such as Nigerian Breweries in providing employment and creating wealth.
He said the state’s Q1 business expectation survey indicates that businesses in Oyo maintained a positive outlook despite national challenges. He noted that the over 2000 companies surveyed in the state showed over 70 per cent outlook and confidence.
“I want to use this opportunity to invite more businesses to come to Oyo. We are looking to expand our investments. We are interested in ideas that will develop our tourism industry and this is where Nigerian Breweries is strong,” he said.
On his part, the Chairman, Nigerian Breweries, Kola Jamodu, said the solar power plant is the fourth largest brewery in Nigeria, as the company is using it as the pilot scheme to demonstrate its commitment to environmental sustainability by making a major financial investment to establish the solar plant.
He stressed that the solar plant would help to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, saying that the commissioning of the plant is the first of its kind in the brewery industry.
“We are determined to continue to set the pace in innovation, ideas, integrity and attributes that we share with the government and the people of Oyo,” he said.
He highlighted that the company has invested hundreds of millions of naira in various community projects and social investments in areas of education, health, and access to potable water.
The Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Oyo State Branch, Lanre Popoola, said it was disheartening that the Nigerian power sector cannot provide and supply adequate electricity to industries and domestic households despite being a rapidly growing economy that is blessed with large deposits of coal, oil and gas asides its status as Africa’s largest oil producer.