Tuna canner Century Pacific Food Inc. (CNPF) on Tuesday said it has stepped up its investments in renewable energy (RE) initiatives with the expansion of its solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity and the commissioning of new biomass boilers in General Santos.
The company is expanding its solar power facility in General Santos City, its largest manufacturing hub in the country where it produces tuna and coconut products.
From a capacity of 5.2 megawatts, the operational solar capacity rose by 65 percent to 8.6MW and is expected to be fully operational by March 2024.
“In addition to being an environmentally forward choice for CNPF, investing in solar unlocks value for the company and enhances our operational resilience,” Teodoro Alexander T. Po, the company’s president and CEO, said.
The company’s tuna and coconut facilities mainly use clean energy sourced from a hydroelectric power plant through the grid.
In 2021, the company commissioned its first solar PV plant in keeping with its commitment to more sustainable manufacturing practices. As of end-2022, more than 60 percent of the hub’s power requirements were harnessed from clean energy sources.
Since 2021, the company has invested approximately P380 million to build and expand its solar plant, which now features a PV roof solar system operating on-grid.
In addition to solar power, the company is also investing in energy alternatives for its coconut operations with the commissioning of new biomass boilers.
The new boiler will utilize coconut shells as biomass fuel, converting by-products into energy and eliminating coal usage in the process.
On a broader scale, the company anticipates a 36-percent reduction in overall coal consumption across its factory.
“As demand for coconut products soar locally and abroad, our focus is on sustainable practices to mitigate our environmental impact. The expansion of our biomass boilers, utilizing coconut shells from our operations also serves as an eco-friendly substitute for coal, contributing to substantial reductions in carbon emissions,” Noel Tempongko, vice president for coconut OEM, said.
Century Pacific’s operations yield coconut shells as byproducts of the company’s de-shelling operations for coconut meat and various coconut derivatives such as desiccated coconut, cocomilk, oil and flour.
Since its commissioning, its roof solar system in General Santos has generated more than 15 million kWh of energy.
Following the addition of this new boiler, CNPF will be adding another mixed biomass boiler in the second quarter.
“Our company’s pursuit of growth runs alongside our desire for longevity. This necessitates a commitment to responsible business practices and creating long-lasting, positive impact on both our bottom line and the planet. Win-win initiatives such as these capture our direction and future,” Po said.