Thieves may wreck Addax operations
The massive theft of the Addax BioEnergy Company Limited properties will wreck its operations if urgent measures are not taken by the relevant authorities. (Far L) Addax HSSE Manager, Derek Higgo, Clive English, John S. Koroma, Mayor Sukarie Kabba Kamara & Alusine K. Kamara
This has affected about fifteen percent of the company’s operations resulting to the displeasure of authorities of the Makeni City, Bombali and Tonkolili District Councils.
The stealing of the company’s properties is becoming very rampant and alarming in its operational areas and may possibly wreck its operations. This medium has learnt.
It can be recalled that during a visit of the company’s executive to President Ernest Bai Koroma at State house, one thing that came out clearly during their discussion was the issue of massive theft threatening the company’s operations as 15% of the project is at a slow pace due to the alarming stealing and bureaucracy in clearing of its equipment at the port.
The €267m project started in 2009 and is expected to be completed by 2014 if production starts by the end of 2013 but the way things are going it seen as if the company will not meet the 2013starting date.
The company hopes to have the independent power plant in the country and as a result has signed a 20 year power purchase agreement with the government of Sierra Leone ratified by Parliament. Addax power will help to level seasonality of Bumbuna Hydro dam.
On Tuesday 26th February 2013, the Mayor of Makeni City, Madam Sunkari Kabba Kamara led a team comprising of chairmen, councilors and Chief Administrator s of Bombali and Tonkolili District Councils on a day’s visit to Addax operational areas within the two districts and also to have first-hand knowledge on the company’s operations.
The Mayor in particular condemned the devilish act of thieving, which she said has the tendency of frustrating potential investors.
She said the two council authorities where the company operates, are willing enough to work with the law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to thwart the devilish act, “Sierra Leone’s prosperity is in our hands, so we should work collaboratively with investors especially Addax among others for the development of the country. I will meet with the police and judiciary officials to ensure that whosoever is caught should be given severe punishment in accordance with the law.”
Her Worship Mayor, Kabba Kamara further stated that they are operating on a new administration in the councils and so they need to re- new working relations with Addax because the company came when Sierra Leone was desperate for development.
She appealed to the company to collaborate with existing institutions to provide specialized skills mostly for youth to meet their job requirements and admonished Addax officials not to forget her municipality, especially in the area of waste management, which needs greater attention, “we will be grateful if Addax could provide us with the expertise to keep Makeni City clean and healthy.”
Derek Higgo, Addax Health, Social, Safety and Environmental (HSSE) Manager, in giving an update on the Makeni Ethanol and power project revealed that the project aims to cultivate about 10,000 (ten thousand) hectares of sugarcane to produce one million tons of ethanol per annum and at present, the company employs 2,000 (two thousand) workers and they will need more when the project commence full operations.
HSSE Manager further stated that development requires investment; and that investors want returns on investment, a stable environment, good infrastructure, resources and construction approach.
Sugar cane, he said is one of the world’s most effective converters of solar energy to chemical energy as it has a high carbon fixation rate and high ethanol chemical yield.
He assured that the company is willing to work with the various stakeholders, including Councils to achieve its goal.
Derek Higgo pleaded with the council authorities to admonish the residents in the company’s various operational areas to work collaboratively with them to control and discourage the rampant stealing of its equipment as most of them are imported for the operations ,which practice he said has stalled the operations of the project in addition to the delay in clearing equipment at the port.
Farmer Development Programm Manager, Clive English informed Council Authorities that 2012 was their best year so far because they incorporated 34 villages in the project and 2,000 hectares of land was ploughed and residents have benefited from about 88,000bushels of rice explaining further that the company has done about 66% of plough and will finish in two weeks.
Bombali District Council Chairman, John Shangai Koroma said they would be grateful if Addax considers discussing its development plans with the Councils, for a common development agenda and emphasized the need for the company to factor technical educational programs into the existing higher learning institutions to help develop the youths in those institutions.
Tonkolili District Council Chairman, Alusine Kamathor Sesay said they will do their best to have a very good collaboration with Addax, and that the company should always involve Councils in its community development programs.
He assured that Councils will be willing to undertake whatever development program brought forward as long as it is for the benefit of the people and the country as a whole.
Members of the delegation unanimously assured Addax of their respective collaborative efforts in clapping down on thieves that are trying to hamper the operations of Addax, a company that stands to benefit the entire country.
By Abdul R. B. Kamara
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