Lafarge Africa launches natural gas-powered trucks to promote clean energy and a safe environment

At Lafarge Africa Plc, a leading Sub-Saharan Africa building solutions company and member of Holcim, a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, we again reaffirm our commitment towards affordable and clean energy (SDG7), through the launch of a new set of 52 Natural Gas (LNG) fueled trucks.

The implementation of the natural gas powered trucks in partnership with Ecologique will improve environmental performance as LNG generates 30% less carbon dioxide than fuel oil and 45% less than coal. The combustion of natural gas dissipates much more quickly in the air, leaving no particles or residue. Data from the Energy Information Administration shows that since 2006, increased use of natural gas has driven carbon dioxide savings. Undoubtedly, natural gas plays a great role in reducing CO2 emissions globally.

As an organization aiming to achieve substantial growth in our operations in alignment with the Health, Cost, Cash initiatives as well as the sustainability agenda, which is to build a world that is greener, smarter and one that works for all, optimizing the supply chain, using more energy-efficient equipment, and constantly being on the look-out for energy-saving options is the only logical path to thread.

With temperatures rising around the globe, there’s no doubt that energy users need to adjust to the current climate realities and businesses need to focus their efforts on lowering environmental impact. The properties of natural gas – low environmental impact of its combustion, its energy performance and its abundant reserves distributed around the globe, make it an energy of the future. Natural gas extracted from fields located predominantly in countries such as Algeria, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Nigeria and the USA, is expected to account for 25% of the world energy portfolio by 2035, compared to 21% today, creating a demand of 5,1000 billion m3 (Gm3)

Speaking at the launch of the trucks at Lafarge’s Ewekoro plant, the Country Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Khaled El Dokani, reiterated that Lafarge Africa is a high-performance driven organization moving in the direction of sustainability which is at the core of its operational strategy. “Lafarge Africa is fully aligned with our Group’s vision of building progress for people and the planet and the deployment of the natural gas trucks further takes the organization closer to the attainment of a net zero carbon emission ambition and five other Sustainable Development Goals – SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 9 (industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 15 (Life on land) and SDG 17 (Partnership for the goals)”.

Natural Gas is the cleanest fossil fuel. In accordance with the current energy transition to net zero sought by the world, it is an excellent alternative to be adopted in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and aid in combating global warming. The use of natural gas – particularly for industry and transport – is one of the many ways Lafarge actively contributes to protecting the environment and achieving its sustainability agenda.

The Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Lolu Alade-Akinyemi also emphasized: “This initiative is enabling sustainable distribution that is smarter and eco-friendly and it is our assurance that our products will reach the end-users in a safer manner. This initiative is a game changer to our bottom line and an entire operation as our focus is to achieve a 28% reduction in overall operating cost as well as significant reduction in Air Pollution (Exhaust gases) among others.”

The Director of Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainability, Folashade Ambrose-Medebem remarked: ‘This initiative impacts the ecosystem on different fronts: it is in sync with our net zero ambitions at the Group in line with the targets set with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI) responding to a global call to action, creating net negative emissions by 2050. This is in addition to supporting our goal of increasing waste-derived fuels in production to reach 37%.’

According to the Project Lead, Osaze Aghatise, Country Head of Logistics Operations, the 50 Natural Gas trucks launch is an important milestone in our Logistics strategy of moving towards a greener and sustainable transportation. Our ambition is to inject additional natural gas trucks in the coming months while exploring other sustainable transportation initiatives.

The natural gas industry has continued to grow and offer businesses more opportunities to save energy and build an eco-friendlier standard of operations. Natural Gas remains one of the world’s fastest-growing fuel resources, as demand has increased following the coronavirus pandemic and consistency in supply as it is transported around the globe in huge tankers, making it a convenient option for businesses and gas producers. LNG is of superior quality to pipeline gas. It is purer, and more stable in composition. Trucks fueled by natural gas are half as noisy as the equivalent diesel-fueled trucks consequently, allowing truck traffic at certain times of the day into places where it is prohibited due to noise pollution.

The use of LNG fuel changes the dynamics of the mode of operations of institutions that care for the welfare of their operating environment like us. At Lafarge Africa, we are never behind on matters of great importance such as the environment and as such we will continue in our tracks for a better and more habitable planet Earth, which is home to us.