Pran-RFL Group, one of the country's largest business conglomerates, plans to invest heavily in renewable energy as part of its sustainability initiatives.
The group will install rooftop solar panels at all its infrastructures and establish a solar power plant on about 1,000 bighas of water bodies in Sreemangal of Moulvibazar, according to the company sources.
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Currently, these water bodies are used for pisciculture.
Kamruzzaman Kamal, director of marketing at Pran-RFL Group, told The Business Standard, "We have decided to install solar panels on all of our factory rooftops to reduce dependency on fossil fuel energy considering the carbon dioxide emissions."
Alongside doing business, Pran-RFP wants to promote four key issues – environment, health care, education and community development, he said.
"We decided to use cleaner energy in our production lines and the rest of the amount will feed to the national grid as per the government net metering policy," Kamruzzaman said.
Net energy metering (NEM) is a policy that allows utility customers to generate their own solar or other renewable energy and use it to offset their grid electricity usage. Any excess electricity can also be fed back into the grid, according to the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (Sreda).
The group consumes about 200MW of electricity a month, while 50% comes from the national grid and the rest is produced by their captive generators, he said.
Kamruzzaman Kamal said, "We have already identified 27 infrastructure rooftops constructed on Reinforced Concrete Column (RCC) pillars to install solar panels. Some factories' roofs were constructed with steel sheets which will not be included in this project."
The selected buildings will be able to install solar panels to produce 67MW, as per their estimate with the support of the state-owned non-bank financial institution Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), following the government rules, he said.
The group director said this project will need a Tk250 crore investment, while the cost of the Sreemangal floating solar plant project has not been estimated yet. That plant will feed all of its generated power to the national grid as the group has no factories in that area, Kamruzzaman said.
He also mentioned that the group has also planned to make fresh Tk680 crore investments in its Habiganj Industrial Park next year to increase capacity and introduce new production lines to meet the rising demand for its goods, both at home and abroad, according to the company.
After expanding its business, Pran-RFL will focus on renewable energy projects, he said, adding that the group has invested in some other projects including recycling plastic waste considering the environmental issue.
Pran-RFL has an annual turnover of approximately $3 billion, with $400 million in exports, and India alone accounts for roughly 20% of the total volume of exports.
The group, which produces 6,300 kinds of products in 31 locations in the country under its 300 brands, currently exports goods to 145 countries.
The group employs 1.45 lakh people, and approximately 1 lakh farmers directly supply goods to the company.