Cargill has inaugurated a new solar power facility at its site in Tema, Ghana, as it aims to boost its sustainable credentials in the country.
The plant, which is a fully automated, digital photovoltaic solar system, boosts Ghana’s renewable energy portfolio by producing 764MWh of electricity annually. The solar energy produced at the plant is equivalent to powering nearly 400 homes with electricity for a year.
Alongside the solar facility, Cargill has implemented a number of innovative solutions at the Tema site to improve its environmental footprint. Recent projects include the installation of an energy-efficient grinding facility and a biomass boiler.
The company said that all four projects at the Tema sites have resulted in a 32% decrease in energy consumption and a 71% reduction of CO2 emissions.
Cargill Ghana Cocoa and Chocolate managing director Pieter Reichert said: “Cargill sets ambitious targets every five years to reduce greenhouse gas intensity, improve energy efficiency and increase renewables as a part of our portfolio.
“One of those targets is to increase renewables to 18% of our global energy portfolio by 2020. Today, 14% of our energy needs are met by renewables, and this solar project will help us realise our 2020 goal.”
Speaking at the inauguration, Ghana deputy trade and industry minister Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah said: “The government is committed to increasing the nation’s renewable energy capacity to help confront the challenges in the power sector and we are hopeful that others in the Ghanaian cocoa industry will follow Cargill’s lead.”
The launch follows on from Cargill’s commitment earlier this year to update to its sustainable cocoa sourcing strategy to align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and include efforts to eliminate deforestation by 2030.
The company said that 85% of its sustainable cocoa is sourced directly from farmers through farmer organisations and cooperatives and that by working with farmer groups it can help them become more efficient, profitable and self-sustaining.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019