KENYA – East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL), subsidiary of British alcohol manufacturer Diageo, has revealed plans of investing Ksh 22 billion (US$199m) to facilitate its transition to use of green energy by 2030.
According to reports by Business Daily, the manufacturer and distributor of Tusker, Chrome, Jonnie walker brands mulls to entirely shift from use of electricity from the national grid, Kenya Power and generate its own power from solar.
EABL targets to generate at least 9.3 megawatts at its Ruaraka plant and 2.4-megawatt from solar power in Kisumu.
Also, it seeks to set up a power generation plant with an estimated capacity of 2.2 megawatts (MW) at its subsidiary, East Africa Maltings Limited, supplier of quality brewing raw materials in the form of malt, barley and sorghum to the brewing units of the EABL group.
“We are committed to sourcing 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 in all of our facilities. Sh22 billion investment also includes the production of biofuel.
“This is already being partly implemented in our Kisumu plant, with 10 percent of our current electricity requirements being met by renewable energy from solar,” said KBL managing director John Musunga.
The multi-billion-shilling investment also includes production of biofuels that will help the brewer reduce carbon emissions by 95 percent (about 42,000 tonnes of carbon a year) and create over 900 direct and indirect jobs throughout the supply chain.
Mr Musunga said the investment will be rolled out at the start of next year, representing the single largest climate action investment by Diageo across Sub-Saharan Africa.
The brewer’s investments come amid a warning from Kenya Power that some of its industrial customers — who account for about 68.31 percent of its sales revenues — are gradually shifting to own-generated solar power, dealing a further blow to its already dwindling finances.
EABL joins this growing list of companies who are in pursuit of reliable supply and reduced operational costs.
Some of the food companies that have already turned to alternative sources of power include Mumias Sugar Company which generates electricity from bagasse, London Distillers and Kenafric industries, among many others.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s leading sugar miller, West Kenya Sugar Company is planning to set up a second power generator of 12MW, doubling its generation capacity to 24MW, to feed its sister company, Rail Paper Mills factory.
The trend is also reflected across Africa with players such as Guinness Ghana Breweries, Nigeria Breweries, Big Bottling Company, Schweppes, South African Breweries, Shoprite, etc having set up solar power plants.