Umoja Rubber Products limited was awarded the overall energy-efficient company at the 16th Annual Energy Management Awards, celebrating excellence in energy efficiency in the Kenya manufacturing sector.
The award was given to the Mombasa based footwear manufacturer in recognition of its continued commitment and efforts towards improvement in energy efficiency, reduction in carbon emission, and implementation of various energy conservation initiatives at a function organised by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).
KAM CEO, Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga disclosed that from an investment of Kshs 600,000 for an energy audit, the implementation of energy conservation measures led to a saving of Ksh 6.3 Million annually.
“Energy audits, in particular, have played a crucial role in ensuring that manufacturers identify areas of energy improvement and consequently save on energy costs. The energy efficiency market has come of age because the benefits have been demonstrated over time,” she said.
For the year, participating industries in the EMA awards have a combined energy savings of over 38 Gigawatt Hours which translates to Ksh 259.8 million.
She added that “The ever-rising cost of energy coupled with climate change poses a big challenge to the Kenyan industries as they strive to become more competitive. This has necessitated a major shift in the way Kenyan industries use energy.”
The KAM chief executive indicated that the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the sectors’ growth projections of 15 percent annually.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statics, the manufacturing sector reported a contraction of 3.9% in Q2’2020 compared to an expansion of 4.0% in the same period of 2019.
The performance was mainly driven by Non-food products contracting by 4.9% Q2’2020 as evidenced by a contraction in the assembly of motor vehicle and manufacture of galvanized iron sheets.
Manufacture of food which includes beverages, meat, and meat products among recorded a contraction of 2.5%.
“Manufacturing will need cushioning against the pangs of this pandemic. Any cost implications will only make an already bad situation worse,” she said.
However, the association said with the ever-rising cost of energy coupled with climate change poses a big challenge to the Kenyan industries as they strive to become more competitive.
“Energy efficiency and conservation strategies must be made a priority if locally produced goods and services are to remain competitive in a liberalized market and if we are going to reduce the effects of climate change,” said Wakiaga.
Speaking on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, the Director of Renewable Energy, Mr David Mutisya, noted that enhanced energy efficiency will ultimately improve energy security, preserve foreign currency through avoided energy imports, lower the burden on the grid during peak consumption and help reduce carbon dioxide emission.
KAM Chairman, Mr Mucai Kunyiha reiterated that power is a crucial input for the sector and addressing cost needs to be thought out. “Recalibrating our conversations to focus on energy efficiency and sustainable manufacturing will see us create sustainable jobs, anchoring them on our efforts towards building our economy.”
“We must become competitive. It is not about competing nationally or regionally. If we cannot produce our goods at a price that matches the rest of the world, the sector will continue to struggle.”
The Energy Management Awards was launched in 2004 by the GEF-KAM Energy Efficiency Project, a predecessor of the Centre of Energy Efficiency and Conservation (CEEC). CEEC based at KAM champions energy and resource efficiency in the country.