The UK Government over the weekend said it has given approval to a British firm to invest about $125 million to $150 million to build a waste to energy facility in Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos.
This approval was given by the Deputy British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr Ben Llewellyn Jones while speaking at Igando Refuse Dumpsite after a guided tour of facilities of the West African ENRG, in the company of some Lagos State officials, led by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello.
According to Llewellyn, Lagos is a state with attractive and conducive investment climate for foreign investors.
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.
Jones reiterated that so many issues of climate change, the challenge of pollution, challenge of drainage and of plastics getting into the drains cropped up at the site but are being solved by the West African ENRG waste conversion facility, which is so impressive.
In his welcome statement, the Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, said the quest of West African ENRG to move from waste-to-wealth to establishing the first waste-to-energy facility speaks volumes about the conducive business atmosphere in Lagos.
He said West African ENRG came to Lagos in 2014 and had its waste conversion plant unveiled by Governor Fashola in 2015, saying the company now plans to set up a waste-to-energy plant.
Bello said, “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 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.’’
“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 said.
On his part, the CEO of West African ENRG, Mr Paul O’Callaghan, while conducting the guests around the facility, 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.
O’Callaghan explained, “At the moment, it takes three to four 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 turnaround time.’’
He said the new project means the PSP will move from houses to the waste-to-energy facility and within 15mins will be back on the streets collecting wastes, thus creating a better economy for the PSP and a quicker and cleaner Lagos State.
O’Callaghan, also expressed the readiness of his firm to convert the Olusosun dumpsite to a waste-to-energy facility that would be built to British standards in terms of emission control if closed down, adding that it would take approximately 20 months to complete after groundbreaking.