Manufacturing firm Dufil Group said the decision to switch to natural gas has cut its electricity cost by 30 percent when compared to grid supply and as much as 80 percent if it had relied on diesel.
Dufil Group which comprises Dufil Prima Foods Plc and its six subsidiaries: De United Foods Industries Limited, Northern Noodles Limited, Pure Flour Mills Limited, Insignia Print Technology LFTZ Enterprise, and Raffles Oil LFTZ Enterprise, is perhaps best known for its noodle brand Indomie Instant Noodles began the switch to gas in 2007.
Jignesh Gandhi, Group Head, Utility Department, Dufil Group told journalists that inconsistent supply from the national grid led the company to begin equipping its factories across Nigeria with gas plants.
“We contacted Clarke Energy in 2007 for help in constructing our power projects because of their reputation for gas generators that were efficient and reliable providing and also for their excellent after sales service,” Gandhi said.
Nigeria has experienced an increased number of national grid collapses since the year’s beginning. The eight and latest occurred in September 2022. This development continues to constrain manufacturing in the country. The Nigerian Manufacturers Association (MAN) said over 40 percent of the manufacturer expenses go to power their plants.
This situation has not been any better even as diesel costs have risen from around N300/litre in January to over N850/litre, forcing many industries wishing to remain competitive to begin investing in gas power plants.
Dufil Group has a total of 20MW gas and diesel-fuelled power plant in their factories across Nigeria. “The gas-fuelled installations have not only led to significant cost savings which have made our operations and products competitive in the market, but it has also reduced our carbon emissions and provided uninterrupted power supply given the sensitive nature of some of the factory equipment,” said Gandhi.
Yiannis Tsantilas, Managing Director of Clarke Energy in Nigeria commented:
“As with many of us, Dufil products remain part of our lives, particularly its foremost noodles brand (Indomie), which has helped to improve access to nutritious food. At Clarke Energy, we believe resilience in production process in Nigeria also includes access to reliable, affordable and cleaner energy alternatives, which helps to achieve a sustainable economy.
The 15-year-old relationship with DUFIL began with the delivery of 1.4MW power plant and has advanced ever since. The growth in power demand demonstrates commitment to the local market, consistent backward integration (vegetable oil and flour brands) and visionary leadership. We are happy to partner in ensuring their lights are always on.”
Clarke Energy delivered the end-to-end power plant solutions including designs, technical drawings, engines, and commissioning, and currently provides maintenance of the equipment.
Beyond power challenges, manufacturing industries in Nigeria grapple with the challenges of the availability of raw materials, including utilities like water and steam.
Gandhi said the company has dealt with the shortage of piped gas for its production processes by purchasing bottled variants of natural gas, that is, compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG), across different locations within Nigeria.
“In addition, we have leveraged the backward integration strategy to kick start our oil palm plantation project in Edo state to help become self-dependent. Palm oil is an important raw material for instant noodles and vegetable oil production,” he said.