EABL spends Sh6b in green agenda deals
East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL), a subsidiary of British alcohol manufacturer Diageo, has spent over $35 million (Sh5.2 billion) to convert three of its 10 regional manufacturing plants to biomass in a strategic move towards leveraging green energy.
The group’s chief executive officer and managing director Jane Karuku observed that in the last two years biomass boilers have been installed in Kisumu and the Ruaraka Tusker plants at an estimated cost of Sh4.6 billion, with an additional Sh1.6 billion spent at the Uganda Breweries Limited.
The conversion of the three plants to biomass is part of an ambitious $199 million (Sh29.5 billion at current exchange rate) plan by the group to power all its regional manufacturing plants using clean energy by 2030.
EABL said the transitions will reduce carbon emission by 95 per cent (about 42,000 tonnes of carbon per year), noting that the move will also lead to creation of over 900 direct and indirect jobs throughout the supply chain.
Speaking yesterday during the release of the group’s sustainability report with the theme ‘Accelerating towards a low carbon world,’ Karuku said: “We have about 10 plants across East Africa. We are already on three and now we are discussing another two. It is a lot of money, I think so far it’s about $35 million (Sh5.2 billion). A lot of money in the last two years.”
In the context of energy, biomass is renewable organic material that comes from plants and animals, and includes agricultural crops, wood processing waste, animal manure and human sewage.
Karuku said despite the group’s resolve to green its power plants, challenges at the value chain needed to be addressed in order to fully harness the potential of biomass as a source of renewable energy in Kenya.
“How long is macadamia going to be grown aggressively if there is no financial creativity for farmers. We all know the sugar story in Kenya. So I think from an organisation’s point of view, it is really being deliberate and that is why I was very deliberate with the CS that as the private sector we cannot develop the value chain by ourselves. We need partnership with the Government, UN, NGO’s banks and other partners,” Karuku said during the launch of the report by Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Sopian Tuya.