Discharge of waste into Benue River accidental, not continuous, firm claims
*Installs waste treatment plant
An Ethanol producing factory has debunked claims in some sections of the media that it had continuously discharged waste materials into the Benue River.
The firm, Pure Bio Biotech Company Limited, in a press statement signed Tuesday, by its Cooperate Communications and Public Relations Manager, Mr Stephen Numbeve, stated that the recent discharge of effluents (waste) into the river that led to the sealing of their factory by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations (NEREA) for two weeks was accidental.
The firm located along Makurdi-Gboko road was shut down by NESREA for spilling waste into the Benue River from the 17th-29th April 2023
While admitting that there was an accidental discharge of untreated effluent with sludge into the river in Bezu Village where the factory is located, the firm explained that the sludge from a by-product (bio-gas) was allowed to move into a ‘Saver Pit’ which got filled-up when the engineers had shut down operations for the day;
It added that the sludge spilled through the safety channels down the drains into the river before pre-treatment through our Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) and then under a test run, saying “itt is important to make it clear that the discharge was not a continuous one as being widely reported, it occurred just that moment
The firm said; “We erred, we were sanctioned according to the environmental laws, our facility has just been unsealed after complying with stipulated conditions, but most importantly, we have learnt our lessons.”
To avert any future re-occurrence, the firm said it has resolved to optimize our Environmental Management System (EMS) and has completed their Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process duly approved and was awaiting EIS certification by the Federal Ministry of Environment;
It also disclosed that they have Installed a state-of-the-art Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) worth millions of dollars and has equipped a standard laboratory to ensure product and effluent are air quality as well as carry out analysis to ensure that all parameters meet SON, NESREA and international standards, respectively.
The statement added that the firm is also adopting a circular economy approach to waste management, as all solid and liquid wastes are converted into bio-gas, fertilizer, and even the treated wastewater are being recycled and there is nothing is to be discharged into the environment or river, anymore.
“We encourage the general public to take a tour of the company and access things for yourselves! Please, Go and Verify!”
In terms of Cooperate Social responsibility, they said the company has been providing access to clean water in the community through the installation of two additional boreholes and also, acquired land to commence the establishment of a school to be equipped with modern learning facilities;.
The statement however clarified that Pure Biotech Company Limited is a law-abiding company and remains pledging to continually improve on our systems and programs designed toward protecting the environment and human health;
It added that the company has invested massively to optimize its waste management mechanisms as its vision is to become a leading environmentally friendly company in Benue State and North Central Nigeria.
They stated that besides the incident, the firm is not discharging any effluent into the environment, river or any water body whatsoever. “Our ETP is functional and all liquid and solid wastes (sludge) are pre-treated, recycled and/or re-used. Our generators for lighting are being powered by bio-gas from the wastes manufactured at the ETP.”