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Diageo targets lower energy costs in Nigeria

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U.K.-based Diageo plc has contracted Clarke Energy, an authorised distributor and service partner for GE Energy gas engines, to install turnkey combined heat and power (CHP) plants at its Guinness breweries in Ogba and Benin City, Nigeria to lower energy costs and increase production.

The plants will each feature a natural gas-powered Jenbacher J620 gas engine and a backup diesel engine from a different supplier.

GE on Tuesday announced the brewery CHP projects at the Africa Energy Forum

2012 in Berlin, Germany.

Diageo, which was established by the merger of Guinness plc and Grand Metropolitan plc in 1997, operates three Guinness breweries in Nigeria.

Its brand, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, has been brewed in Nigeria since 1962.

Nigerians drinks more Guinness than the brand's home country of Ireland, making the country the world's second-largest market for Guinness, behind only the United Kingdom.

The new Ogba and Benin City projects represent the fifth and sixth Jenbacher CHP engines that Diageo has installed since 2008 at its Guinness Nigeria plc brewing operations to help lower energy costs and help keep pace with the steady growth in demand for its products.

In 2008, Diageo first installed a Jenbacher J620 cogeneration unit at its Guinness Ogba brewery, where the system was connected to a waste-heat boiler to produce steam for the brewing process. The second installation in 2010 was configured to use the exhaust heat directly into an absorption chiller to provide a source of cooling for the plant. Also in 2008, Diageo installed its first two Jenbacher J620 cogeneration systems at its Guinness Benin City brewery. In addition to producing steam, the Benin City brewery's Jenbacher unit was connected to an absorption chiller to create chilled water from the engine's exhaust heat.

GE's Jenbacher Type 6 engines offer numerous advantages: reliability, efficiency and robustness, with high power density and low installation costs. In addition, the pre-combustion chamber layout helps the engine achieve maximum efficiency with low emissions, while its unique design and optimized components support an extended service life and reduce maintenance and overhaul costs. Given the current price difference between natural gas and diesel fuel in Nigeria, using gas to power a high-efficiency Jenbacher engine can save a customer 78 percent compared to diesel fuel.

Henry Ohenhen, electrical/automation manager-Benin, Guinness Nigeria plc noted that previous installations have increased Diageo's confidence in GE Energy engines.

"GE's Jenbacher gas engines are supporting our efforts to incorporate energy efficiency technologies to increase productivity. The performance of our previously installed Jenbacher gas engines, in terms of reliability, productivity and efficiency, has been tremendous," he said.

"The proven capabilities of GE's gas engines and Clarke Energy's comprehensive, local after-sales service support have given us significant competitive advantages, helping us to develop the most modern and advanced breweries in Africa. This latest installation will help support our growth and expansion goals."

The Ogba and Benin City breweries are expanding their existing CHP plants to generate even more reliable electricity and steam while using cleaner-burning, less-expensive natural gas as the primary fuel. The new, ecomagination-approved Jenbacher J620 CHP units are scheduled to be fully installed, tested and in operation by the first quarter of 2013.

"This is an opportunity to realize significant operational cost savings, and we can typically expect a gas engine like the one being installed in Lagos to pay for itself within just 18 to 24 months," said Patrick Regan, global sales leader for GE Food & Beverage Solutions. "From a financial point of view, the case to use gas as a primary fuel is hard to dispute, given the current natural gas price point versus more traditional fuel sources such as diesel. More breweries are choosing to install gas engines in their facilities as a result of their increased reliability, efficiency and overall return on their investments, not to mention the positive environmental impact of cleaner emissions and reduced CO2 footprint."

In addition to showcasing GE's successful focus on the food and beverage sector, the Diageo projects illustrate how GE's comprehensive suite of distributed power solutions--ranging in size from 100 kW to 100 MW--are helping customers worldwide to generate more reliable, on-site electricity and heat.

"With the upcoming installation of the latest Jenbacher system in Ogba and Benin City, we are pleased to be able to support the long-term growth of Diageo's iconic brands," said Alex Marshall, group marketing manager for U.K. and Nigeria-based Clarke Energy, which provides full-service sales, engineering, installation and maintenance services for GE's Jenbacher gas engines product line.

Guinness Nigeria plc, a subsidiary of Diageo, was incorporated in 1962 and the following year opened its Ogba brewery in Ikeja, Lagos. Ikeja was the first Guinness brewery to be built outside of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Steady growth in Africa's demand for Guinness Stout and Harp Lager prompted the opening of more breweries in Nigeria. In 1974, the company built its second brewery--Benin City--that originally produced Harp but was later expanded in 1978 to also make Guinness. In 1982, Guinness expanded its brewery at Ogba to also brew both Harp and Guinness. In 2004, a third Guinness brewery was opened at Aba in Abia State to further increase production capacity.

The CHP projects underscore how GE is helping Nigeria promote economic growth, employment and educational opportunities. Aligning with Nigeria's goals for growth through its Vision 2020 initiative, GE and the federal government of Nigeria in 2009 signed a landmark "Country to Company"

agreement to foster partnerships and drive critical infrastructure projects across the country.


Article credit: Businessday Newspaper

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