TotalEnergies, NNPC, UNITAR inaugurate plastic recycling plant

By Benjamin Arida://

TotalEnergies EP, Nigeria Limited has inaugurated a pilot plastic recycling plant in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

It is a corporate Social Responsibility, CSR Joint Venture (JV) partner project of TotalEnergies, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, UNITAR.

Inaugurating the project at Elelenwo community in Port Harcourt Local Government Area of the state yesterday, the Country Chair, Managing Director (MD) of TotalEnergies, Mike Sangster, said the idea arose out of the need to find sustainable solution to problem of single-use plastic waste management.

According to him, the multimillion state of the art plant has the capacity of recycling over 1000 tones of plastics in a year; save over 750 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per annum, and create over 80 direct and indirect jobs.

He said it would be managed by an entrepreneur on a loan basis for the replication of the project in other parts of the country.

He said: “While TotalEnergies is the sponsor of the project, the plant itself will be handed over to an entrepreneur who will run it and eventually take full ownership after repaying a part of the investment.

“The recovered part of the investment Sabster said would be placed in a recycling fund for re-invested into similar facilities in the state.

“Our objective is to develop a sustainable model where local entrepreneurs will be empowered, trained and supported to run the business, thereby supporting local enterprise while promoting sustainable waste management in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Goal 12, which calls for sustainable consumption and production patterns.

“In establishing this plant, our vision is to facilitate waste management in Nigeria through economic empowerment, which is in line with our core values as a company.

The pilot plant is fully equipped with sophisticated modern recycling machines and will recycle over 1000 tons of waste Polyethylene, PE & Polypropylene, PP per annum. ”

Also speaking at the event, Minister of State for Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, challenged the private sector to key into the project and replicate same to tackle marine pollution and plastic wastes on the ocean.

Represented by the Director, Pollution Control, Federal Ministry of Environment, Olubumi Olusanya, she said the government has “created the enabling environment to promote circular economy such as this, for waste reduction, recycling and converting wastes to wealth, through incentives and policies.”

Also speaking, the Managing Director of NAPIMS, Bala Wunti, assured that the project would give birth to other similar projects, in furtherance of the government’s social investment initiative through the oil and gas sector.

Wunti represented by the Manager, Efficiency, Mrs. Adetutu Olukanmi, said: “Our vision for social interventions is to operate in an ethical and sustainable manner and deal with the environment and social impact occasioned by our activities, hence the approval of various CSR projects by our operators across the country for maximal impact.”

Also, the Assistant Secretary-General, UNITAR, Mr Nikhil Seth, represented by a Senior Consultant at UNITAR, Dr Lawrence Boms, commended TotalEnergies for having the confidence to partner with them on the project, saying that the project was an evidence of collaboration between the public and private sector.

On his part, the hoat Monarch and Nye Nwe Eli Elelenwo community, Eze Sunny Weli Chukwu, lauded the decision to site the project in his domain and appealed that the local content policy law of the Federal Government should be activated to allow his subject be directly involved in the workforce of the factory.

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