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Page added on October 10, 2012
Officials from the Sierra Leone Police Force, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Provincial Administrators from Bombali and Tonkolili Districts were on Friday 5th October, 2012 taken on a site visit to the operation areas of Addax Bio-Energy Company Sierra Leone during which they were briefed about the operations of the company in the country.
The visit, according to the company, was to ensure that officials from the three institutions have a thorough knowledge about the operations of the company to enable them discern between propaganda and the reality on the ground.
Addax is currently in the process of developing a Greenfield renewable energy and agricultural project in Makeni, Northern Sierra Leone. Following earlier misconceptions about the project, especially those related to the leasing of lands from community people, Addax has now thought it prudent to extend its engagement beyond the media by also involving other major stakeholders in the implementation of its activities.
Addressing the delegation, the company’s Health, Social, Safety and Environment Manager, Derek Higgo said they are at the moment using the Brazilian type of sugarcane technology for ethanol production to be exported to Europe and revealed that the project requires 10,000 hectares of sugarcane to export million of tons of ethanol per annum and that 2,000 workers would be employed.
The project, he continued, would also produce energy that would complement the Bumbuna hydro-electric dam revealing that the 267 million Euro project is the first in the history of the country.
Derek Higgo went on to state that currently, they have about 20,000 workers in ninety-two villages in the project’s operational areas and solicited the support of the government and people of Sierra Leone to ensure maximum protection of the company.
Environmental Affairs and Sustainability Manager, Lloyd Clark said the company prevents environmental impact to ensure legacy for future generations as well as protecting local inhabitants and workers and underlined that the operations of the company is guided by the Social Environmental Management Health Impact Assessment.
“We are closely monitoring major environmental aspects of the project area with the production of monthly reports,” he said and furthered that they have succeeded to plant 61,000 trees, a process he promised, would continue.
The Environmental Affairs Manager further revealed that the trees planted are mainly economic trees of various species that would add value to the community and disclosed that the company has intensified the construction of its main factory site to prepare for the processing of sugarcane and export of ethanol to the European market and revealed that the company is presently undertaking a massive tree planting exercise of 5,600 trees estimated at $50,000.
Addax has prepared two documents namely: Environmental, Social, Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA); and Social Environmental Management Plan (SEMP), which are geared towards ensuring environmental protection to improve biodiversity in the project area.
Reports on environmental protection are normally sent to the relevant authorities on a quarterly basis for which the company has received several accolades.
By A. R. Bedor
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