EBRD promotes energy efficiency and sustainability in Morocco

By Nibal Zgheib

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a €2.5 million loan to Lesieur Cristal – a major producer of edible oil and soap – to finance the construction and launch of a new biomass boiler to support energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The boiler, which will be fuelled by processed olive waste, will enable Lesieur Cristal to further reduce its consumption of fossil fuel and electricity, and thereby reduce energy costs and boost sustainability, a priority for many Moroccan companies.

The savings will equate to 4,400 tonnes of fuel equivalent per year, and a reduction of approximately 12,500 tonnes of annual greenhouse gas emissions. The latter would make Lesieur Cristal eligible for an estimated 12,000 Reduced Emission Units (REU) of carbon credits, tradeable on the European Carbon Market.

Samir Oudghiri Idrissi, General Manager of Lesieur Cristal, said: “This project is important for the company’s goals of optimising energy costs and sustainability, as well as improving the energy efficiency and overall profitability of our operations. We hope this is only the start of a long cooperation with the EBRD.”

The EBRD’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change team will continue its support of Lesieur Cristal’s energy efficiency strategy as it claims these carbon credits in the future.

The Bank will also perform an energy audit of Lesieur Cristal’s operations to highlight how further energy savings can be made.

Gilles Mettetal, Director of Agribusiness at the EBRD said: “The EBRD is particularly proud of this landmark transaction in the new southern and eastern Mediterranean region that includes Morocco. Energy efficiency remains one of the key issues in the agribusiness sector, and in this region in particular. We are confident that this is only the beginning of a strategic partnership with Lesieur Cristal in Morocco.”

With the launch of this new biomass boiler, more than half of Lesieur Cristal’s thermal energy needs will come from renewable sources, doubling the company’s current use of renewables. With the expected savings in energy and greenhouse gas emissions, Lesieur Cristal will stand out as one of the leading sustainable companies in the country.