Head, Alternative Fuel Project, Dangote Cement Plc, Engr Peter Anagbe, said during a visit to Irewole Local Government Area, Osun, that the company was committed to ascertaining the needs of the community and empowering them.
Anagbe added that the move was part of the company’s strategies to shore up and sustain availability of PKS as waste, which is co-processed in the cement kiln to recover energy.
He said the company had instituted periodic value chain analysis and community engagements with the PKS waste collectors as well as the palm oil millers in communities across Nigeria.
Anagbe explained that the visit was necessitated by the shift in global attention to alternative fuel sourcing, expected to contribute to the realisation of ‘zero emission’ and ‘zero waste’ concepts.
He added that alternative fuel could be produced from other agricultural wastes, municipal wastes, commercial and industrial wastes, thereby contributing to minimise waste to landfills.
“This whole drive is to explore avenues to empower them to bolster production which in effect would lead to sustainable generation of PKS to be co-processed in the cement kilns, leaving zero waste,” he said.
Also, Head, Sustainability, Dr Igazeuma Okoroba, told the community that the company was desirous of ensuring sustainable collection of waste materials as PKS, to improve the environment and act as a source of livelihood for them.
He urged the people to always look at alternative value adding opportunities to waste, taking a cue from the PKS which hitherto was openly incinerated as waste, leading to environmental pollution.
One of the community leaders, Elder Hammed Adekunle, said the main stay of the community’s economy was palm oil milling and that the use of PKS for co-processing, offered them opportunity to expand and diversify.
He said the community would appreciate any support from Dangote Cement to enable them acquire modern machines to process the palm oil and in turn, generate PKS.
“The entire process of getting PKS from the harvesting of palm tree involves as much as 30 people depending on the volume of the palm tree being harvested.
“This visit means Dangote cement values us as a critical stakeholder in the value chain of ensuring zero waste-to-landfill by evacuating the waste palm kernel shell (PKS),” he said.
Also, the Dangote team met with various stakeholders within the Ikire hub, Osun, during which the actors in the value chain enumerated the challenges faced by them while trying to collect the waste from different locations.
One of them, Prince Oloyan Lawal, noted that a general challenge was the issue of logistics in a bid to move from one settlement to the other to collect the waste. (