25 SEPTEMBER 2002
- first solar system to be installed in a Maltese factory
Baxter (Malta) Ltd has inaugurated a three kilowatt solar photovoltaic electric system at its premises in Marsa. The system, the first of its kind ever to be installed at a factory in Malta is currently the largest solar installation comprising 33 solar modules and a 3 kW inverter and is the latest amongst the companys many initiatives to reduce electricity consumption.
Sergio Vella, Director of Manufacturing, inaugurated the new electric solar system, to mark this years Energy, Health and Safety Week organised by Baxter with the aim of maximising its employees awareness in respect of environment, health and safety.
Addressing the guests during the official inauguration of the new solar system, Sergio Vella stated, "Throughout the past years, Baxter has been committed to promoting and putting into practice the three Rs concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. This concept also applies to a reduction in energy consumption. As such although in past years, measures to reduce electricity consumption have been successfully addressed, company policy demands a continuous improvement program in this area. This has spurred Baxter Malta to exploit this new opportunity which we are sure will help us achieve the desired results."
Mr Vella added, "In fact, besides obvious advantages such as no need for fuel, no pollution and a contribution towards the diversification of energy sources, the solar system is estimated to save a minimum of 3,650 kWh of electricity per annum, which would cover the total needs of the reception area. This corresponds to a saving of 3.5 tons of carbon dioxide and 1.2 tons of oil equivalent every year for the utility grid.
"Currently the largest grid connected solar installation in Malta, the new system generates enough electricity to meet the consumption needs of the companys reception area. When the electricity generated is greater than the immediate needs, as for example during weekends, the extra energy is automatically diverted to supply other parts of the facility. It is also possible to feed back energy into the electricity grid in case of excess," concluded Mr Vella.
After a short explanation on how the Solar system functions by Pierre Paul Mangion, Maintenance Manager, Sergio Vella proceeded in unveiling a commemorative plaque and switching on the reception lights, now being powered by solar energy.
Over the past year, a number of interesting energy projects have been undertaken by Baxter Malta to reduce energy consumption. These included the installation of air amplifiers that amplify air blow utilising less compressed air, the replacement of all inductors with high frequency units, the fitting of administration offices and common areas with motion detectors for automatic lights switch off and setting up of air conditioners in offices to automatically switch off in the evening. Motor controllers have also been installed in order to reduce the power when the full motor load is not required. These and other initiatives are aligned with Baxter Maltas objective of establishing itself as Best Citizen in Malta by enhancing its already excellent record on Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) issues.
Throughout the Baxter Energy, Health and Safety Week, which is being held this week, the company will be hosting a number of workshops at its Training Centre related to the three themes, as well as setting up a number of stands in strategic areas of the facility. Employees will be addressed on topics related to the use of solar energy, energy efficient products, efficient lighting systems, the importance of a healthy diet, electrical safety procedures and safety at home.