…As UK expresses support for foreign direct investments in the state
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The British Government has expressed support for more foreign investments in Lagos State, as moves for the first Waste to Energy plant in the state commenced.
This happened as a foreign energy firm, West African ENRG, disclosed plans to invest $150 million to build a 25 megawatts waste to energy facility that would process 2.5 tonnes of waste energy daily.
The Deputy British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr Ben Llewellyn Jones, made the remarks at the weekend during an inspection tour of Igando refuse dumpsite facilities of West African ENRG, in the company of state officials, led by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello.
According to Jones: “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.”
He reiterated that so many issues of climate change, the challenge of pollution, the challenge of drainage and of plastics getting into the drains at the site but are being solved by the West African ENRG waste conversion facility which is so impressive.
Bello, receiving the team, 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.
The commissioner, who was accompanied on the tour with the Perm Sectary, Environmental Services, Mrs Belinda Odeneye and Managing Director, Lagos Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, Ibrahim Odumboni, said the energy company came to Lagos in 2014, had its waste conversion plant unveiled by Governor Babatunde Fashola in 2015, saying the company now plans to set up a waste to energy plant.
“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 stressed.
Speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, West African ENRG, Paul O’Callaghan, disclosed that the organisation planned to invest between $125 to $150 million 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 minutes and aiming for 15 minutes turn- around time, ” Paul explained.
He said the new project means the Public Sector Participants, PSP, will move from houses to the waste to energy facility and within 15minutes will be back on the streets collecting wastes, thus creating a better economy for the PSP and a quicker and cleaner Lagos.
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.
LAWMA MD, who expressed confidence with what he had seen, stressed, “there is the capacity to cope with the level of recyclables that will be generated from the society while sorting from the source.
“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,” Odumboni stated.