Minister White visits Astellas Kerry plant and commends its energy efficient successes

62% of Astellas’ energy demand is met by renewables

December 2015: Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White TD recently visited the Astellas site in Kerry to meet with staff and hear about their commitment to the sustainable energy agenda. Astellas currently generates 62% of all energy required for the site through renewable energy.

Astellas Pharma Inc,  a global pharmaceutical company, develops and markets pharmaceuticals which provide the promise of a healthier life to people across the world. The Astellas Kerry Plant has been operating in Killorglin since 1992 and employs 350 people.

Astellas has a long standing commitment to the energy agenda. Joining the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s (SEAI) Energy Agreements programme in 2005, the site is certified to a variety of standards since 2007 with the most recent one being the international standard for Energy Management ISO50001.

Minister White and representatives from SEAI were given a site tour by senior Astellas personnel, including Louis Collins, Director of Engineering, who demonstrated some of the significant energy saving projects that were implemented over recent years.  One such renewable energy project involved the introduction of a wood chip boiler in 2012 using locally sourced woodchip which is supporting local jobs and helping to develop a wood supply market.  Other renewable projects saw the erection of an onsite wind turbine for electricity supply in 2012 and the installation of a solar water heating system in 2014.

Minister Alex White commented: “Companies like Astellas are really embracing sustainable energy. Not only are they benefitting their business by enhancing energy savings, but they are also benefitting the local area and environment by supporting renewable sources of energy supply.  I recently launched the Energy White Paper which focuses on the enterprise opportunity of energy and Astellas is already ahead of the curve in helping to support new energy saving technologies and jobs.”

As part of their vision to be a “Leading Light for Life”, Astellas encourages its employees, their families and the wider community to participate in activities to raise awareness around environmental and health and safety issues. Every  year they  encourage local schools to participate in designing an  annual calendar for charity. Previous themes included energy and water and this year the focus is on road safety. 

Patricia Quane V.P. and General Manager, Astellas Ireland Co, Ltd (Kerry Plant) said: “From sustainable business practices and resource efficiency, to increasing biodiversity and community outreach, Astellas is proactively developing and implementing new initiatives as part of our ‘Changing Tomorrow’ programme. Our on-site wind turbine generates 20% of our electricity and our wood chip boiler supplies 95% of the company’s thermal needs, all part of our journey to sustainability, a mantra that Astellas lives by in every aspect of its work.” 

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