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FG commends Lafarge over corporate power generation efforts in host communities

The multi billion naira power plant driven by indigenous cement solutions provider, Lafarge Africa Plc at Ewekoro in Ogun State, has captured the fancy of the federal government.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who paid a working visit to the company’s plant at Ewekoro hailed the gesture and described the idea of connecting host communities with self generated power is the height of corporate social responsibility.

Lafarge is currently recycling palm kernel shells as biomass to generate power for the kilns used in cement making.

This rare feat moved the Minister to maintain that the se of biomass saves money that would have been used to buy fuel and foreign exchange, adding that the power from the biomass plant would generate half of the energy used in firing the kilns.

According to him, “An environment-friendly production site is something to take away from Lafarge Africa here in Ogun State, and I hope there are lessons to take on board. That is not to say that coal should not be used, because we have coal in Nigeria that will also save us foreign exchange.

“Power is an essential need for us in Nigeria; we are desperately in need of adding more generation of power in order to fuel all these plants that are developing, and Ogun State is a major destination for industries; there are so many industries that are setting up here; Ogun State ranks first in terms of siting of new plants.

Earlier in his welcome speech, the Country Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Africa Plc, Michel Puchercos, said the effects of the slowdown in the economy prompted the company to seek an alternative means to generate energy for its operations in Ewekoro and others.

He said “We realised last year that dollar was scarce and energy was also scarce in Nigeria. So, the company reacted very strongly, how can we do both? We wanted to do both, that is, keeping on producing and saving energy and US dollars. This is how the idea of using biomass came,” he explained’.