Friday , June 21 2024

Lagos ‘Waste to Energy’ project underway with $150 million investment

….Firm to build 25 megawatts waste to energy facility 

Akanbi Hasaan

The plan to convert waste to energy in Lagos at the weekend got underway as the British Government gave a seal of approval for more foreign investments in the state which signalled the take off of the first  waste to energy plant in the state.

This was even as West African ENRG, a waste to energy firm, revealed plans to invest about 125 to 150 million Dollars to build a 25 megawatts waste to energy facility  that would process 2.5 tonnes of waste daily in Lagos.

Speaking after a tour of Igando Landfill, the Deputy British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr Ben Llewellyn Jones, said that the British government would assist Nigeria through direct investment in the project. He added that there opportunities to grow beyond what is being achieved now

The diplomat, who was accompanied by the state officials led by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello in the guided tour of facilities of West African ENRG, reiterated that so many issues of  climate change, challenge of pollution, challenge of drainage and of plastics getting into the drains dropped up at the site. He added that the issues   are being solved by the West African ENRG  waste conversion facility which is so impressive.

 He said: “Though some people think about Nigeria and investments and look the other way, we say ‘look this way’. We will help you and it is a real opportunity here as it is being demonstrated today and even opportunities to grow beyond even what is being achieved now which is so fantastic.
“It is absolutely outstanding what is being achieved using British technology, finance and real great Nigerian drive and expertise to create something special that is really going to grow and grow”, the diplomat added.

Also speaking, the State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources Tunji Bello, said the quest of West African ENRG to move from waste to wealth to establishing the first waste to energy facility speaks volume about the conducive business atmosphere in Lagos.

Tunji Bello who was with the Perm Sec, Environmental Services, Mrs Belinda Odeneye and LAWMA MD, Ibrahim Odumboni said West African ENRG came to Lagos in 2014, had its waste conversion plant unveiled by Governor Fashola in 2015, saying the company now plans to set up a waste to energy plant. 

“There were some intervals of difficulties, that we have now successfully overcome. Now, we have been able to restore all that they started with. They have also improved on a lot of things. You must have observed during the inspection today a lot of conversion processes from waste to plastics, rubber, cans and bottles” Bello stated.

The Commissioner said from the brief and visual clips on the proposed waste to energy project presented by West African ENRG, it is clear that if the organisation gets more enablement, it would make further progress in waste conversion. 

“Lagos has always been a Mecca of investments. What we just need to do is to make sure that infrastructural developments are accelerated and substantial progress is being made in that regard. We have the roads, water and other infrastructural facilities ready”, he emphasised.  

While taking the guests round, the CEO West African ENRG, Paul O’Callaghan  said his organisation plans to invest about 125 to 150 million Dollars to build a 25 megawatts waste to energy facility  that would process 2.5 tonnes of waste daily.

“At the moment, it takes 3 to 4 hours in the dry season to tip waste at the open landfill site to the wet season that takes as much as 24 hours depending on the weather. We are committing to under 30 mins and aiming for 15 minutes turn around time,”Paul explained. 

He said the new project means the PSP will move from houses to the waste to energy facility and within 15min will be back on the streets collecting wastes, thus creating better economy for the PSP and a quicker and cleaner lagos state.

Mr O’Callaghan who was with the COO, Lolade Oresanwo, expressed readiness to convert Olusosun dumpsite to a  waste to energy facility that would be built to British standard in terms of emission control if closed down, adding that it would take approximately 20 months to complete after groundbreaking. 

Managing Director of LAWMA, Ibrahim Odumboni who was part of the team expressed confidence with what he has seen, there is the capacity to cope  with the level of recyclables that will be generated from the society while sorting from source.

“For me, this is an encouragement for us to give them an enabling environment to do something similar around here and other parts of Lagos so that we can bring development and prosperity to circular economy within the state. 

“We want to have the first waste to energy plant in lagos, before the end of the year. So, following today’s visit, we are in discussion to be able to give them a letter of Intent, with the possibility of signing an MOU as soon as possible to commence a step towards waste to energy for Lagos state”, the MD explained.

About Ayinla Muritala

Agbede is a seasoned Journalist with more than a decade experience as the fourth estate of the realm. He is a graduate of Mass Communication from the Univeristy of Ilorin and currently freelance with few of the Nigerian Dailies.

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