Reduce Air Pollution by Increase Renewable Energy Supply

A large solar power plant was inaugurated on Monday March 6, 2017 at the Gemayel Freres factory in Bickfaya.

The inauguration took place in the presence of Minister of Industry His Excellency Dr. Hussein Al Hajj Hassan, the adviser and representative of the Minister of Energy and Water Dr. Khaled Nakhle, the First Councellor at the Delegation of the European Union Jose Luis Vinuesa, the Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Luca Renda, and the President of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists and Chairman and General Manager of Gemayel Freres, Dr. Fadi Gemayel. The power plant was co-funded by the European Union and Gemayel Freres.

The project consists of over 1000 solar (photovoltaic) panels generating approximately 470,000 kWh per year, thus helping to reduce the use of fuel oil and grid electricity at the Gemayel Freres factory. The plant also contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The European Union funded UNDP CEDRO project has been involved in the design and implementation of nearly 1.4 MW of solar electricity projects spread over 9 educational, industrial and commercial facilities.

Dr. Fadi Gemayel said that "relying on solar energy projects does not only benefit our industry but helps to reduce and save energy on a national scale."
"Our presence here today at the Gemayel Frères factory is a good opportunity to see first-hand the impact of energy saving measures and the benefits of renewable energy for Lebanon. It gives us a clear idea of how projects like the EU-funded CEDRO project can increase renewable and reliable energy supply for the Lebanese people and reduce air pollution," added Mr. Jose Luis Vinuesa.

Mr. Luca Renda stated that "This initiative has been essential in encouraging uptake of new sustainable technologies and supporting efforts to reduce energy expenditures. This can help reduce CO2 emissions resulting in clearer air for us and for the country."
"We are inaugurating today a model initiative that reflects the will to develop the basis of energy consumption. We call on all industrialists to benefit from renewable energy and on the international community to further support this sector," said Dr. Khaled Nakhle.

Adding to that, the Minister of Industry Hussein el Hajj Hassan thanked the EU and UNDP for such an initiative "that will have a positive impact on energy consumption and the environment."

At the end a short video was presented showing the project’s implementation process. The inauguration concluded with the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the partners that supported and implemented this project. The participants visited the site of the solar installation and received a technical briefing on the system and its performance to date.

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