4 July, 2017, 12:00 am
A LEADING beverage manufacturer, Coca-Cola Amatil (Fiji) Ltd, has spearheaded the move towards greater efficient and sustainable energy sources by going 40 per cent solar.
The company yesterday launched their solar energy project, an initiative which has seen the installation of 3860 solar panels to their production plant in Laucala Beach Estate, Nasinu.
This means that 40 per cent of the company’s energy requirements will be powered through a 1.1MW solar system producing 1,408,000 kilowatt of energy per year, further reducing carbon emissions by 974 tonnes annually.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who officiated at the launch, said the project was a “potential game changer” with solar technology becoming increasingly efficient as well as affordable and was something that could be replicated throughout the region.
“I salute the company for its vision on behalf of every Fijian and encourage every other Fijian business and investor to consider following your example,” he said.
“Because what you have done here is a practical and highly effective way in which the private sector can make its own contribution to the fight against climate change.”
The project, a first for the Coca-Cola Amatil group, was also made possible through a partnership between CCAF and Sunergise, a regional solar energy systems provider.
Coca-Cola Amatil group managing director Alison Watkins said the project epitomised their main pillars of sustainability and demonstrated their core values of “delivering for today and building for tomorrow”.
“Fiji is a very important and growing part of our portfolio at Coca-Cola Amatil and there was no market better than Fiji, from our point of view, to be the first market in the Coca-Cola Group on this project,” she said.
“I really want to congratulate very sincerely Sunergise and Coca-Cola Amatil (Fiji) here for making this wonderful project happen and there is no better demonstration of our core values.
“Our sustainability framework focuses on four areas that are important to us and where we believe we can make the most impact.”
Coca-Cola Amatil (Fiji) Ltd general manager Roger Hare said the significant project was part of their continued capital investments and improvements to their infrastructure.
“It just seemed a very opportune time that we investigated solar options and Sunergise, we had very fruitful discussions with them,” he said.
“This solar energy project is the first of its kind in the Amatil family and is something we are very proud of as it aligns with our environmental values.
“We take our corporate social responsibility very seriously and support the Fijian Government’s efforts to encourage a more resilient Fijian community and economy.”
The solar project came into fruition after initial discussions between Coca-Cola Amatil in New Zealand and Sunergise.
This saw a feasibility study being preliminary conducted in November last year before the first stage of the project was commenced in March earlier this year. The second stage of the solar project is expected to further increase their solar power generation to 80 per cent and be introduced to their sites in Labasa and Lautoka.
The company had also been undertaking initiatives towards meeting goals identified around reducing refrigeration and manufacturing emissions utilising solar energy, promoting sustainable packaging using renewable and recycled content and increased material resource efficiency.
An example of this was the recent introduction of solar fridges by CCAF to refrigerate products and have placed in the market on a trial basis before actual roll-out.