GraceKennedy’s (GK) Foods Division has broken ground for a new solar power system at its Grace Food Processors (GFP) Meats manufacturing facility in Savanna-la-mar, Westmoreland. Two liquefied natural gas (LNG) engines will also be installed as part of the project.
Once installation is complete, the new system will give GFP Meats the ability to generate up to 1 MW of clean energy and self-generate over 80% of its electricity needs. GFP Meats was the first GK facility to implement an on-site solar power system in 2016, with a generation capacity of 100 kilowatts.
Frank James, CEO of GK Foods – Domestic, explained, “Our pivot towards solar energy is embedded in our new GK energy policy, which was launched in 2022 and aims to diversify the Group’s energy supply, through sustainable energy solutions, including renewable energy technologies. Full implementation of the policy is projected to recover over US$1 million in net energy cost reductions annually for GraceKennedy by 2026. This move also aligns with our ESG (environmental, social and governance) agenda, and among other things charges us with being responsible stewards of our environment.”
Since the beginning of 2022, GraceKennedy has invested US$3 million in renewable energy projects. The latest development at GFP Meats is among a series of new solar power projects being implemented by GK, in keeping with the sustainable energy strategy outlined in its new Energy Policy.
“Heavy dependence on imported petroleum products makes us susceptible to the volatilities of the world’s oil market, including supply and price fluctuations. With the introduction of our new energy policy, we are demonstrating GK’s commitment to exploiting indigenous renewable energy sources, while reducing our Group’s carbon footprint,” James continued.
Several other GK Foods subsidiaries including Hi-Lo Negril, Grace Agro-Processors Denbigh, Dairy Industries Jamaica Limited, NALCAN (formerly Grace Food Processors (GFP) Canning and National Processors), and GK’s Distribution Centre in Spanish Town, have on-site solar power generation capacity. GK’s headquarters in Downtown Kingston, which opened in 2019, is also solar powered, with a system that currently provides 30% of the building’s daily energy needs. Hi-Lo Manor Park, Cross-Roads and Spanish Town are also scheduled to have solar power systems installed in 2023.