Kimberly-Clark to Power its Singapore Huggies Factory from Solar

The rooftop solar installation is likely to produce 3.5 GW of power annually


U.S.-based personal consumer items manufacturer Kimberly-Clark has switched to solar power through the installation of a rooftop PV installation that will generate nearly 15% of the electricity consumed by its Huggies diaper and baby wipe factory in Tuas, Singapore.

The company, which recorded $18.5 billion in sales in 2018, said that the 7,730 solar panels mounted on the factory’s roof would generate 3.5 GW of electricity in a year.

Achal Agarwal, President, Asia-Pacific, Kimberly-Clark said, “Switching on this solar roof marks a new milestone in our sustainability journey and accelerates our progress towards our goal of achieving a 20% reduction in GHG emissions globally, by 2022”.

For Kimberley Clark, this isn’t its first major solar installation for its energy needs. It already had a 100 kW solar system installed back in 2009 that was expanded in 2011 to 4.9 MW, according to a statement issued by the company.

The installation was done by Sunseap Group, a PV installer in Singapore with a total contracted capacity of more than 163 MW.

It was reported by Mercom previously that Sunseap group has acquired a minority stake in Todae Solar, an Australian commercial and industrial engineering, procurement and construction solar company. In India, Sunseap in joint venture with Charisma Energy has a 140 MW solar project in Rajasthan in operation since August 2017.

In 2016, Kimberly-Clark’s Tuas project also launched an in-house wastewater treatment plant that recycles 75% of the water used in its wet wipes production. It has partnered with Ngee Ann polytechnic researchers to find utility for the material waste that is generated during its production process, as part of its broader efforts to reuse or recycle 100% of its waste.

“I am glad to see enterprises such as Kimberly-Clark Corporation step up efforts to adopt renewable energy. Sustainable development is not just central to the mitigation of climate change and protection of the environment. When thoughtfully incorporated, it can benefit business operations and reduce costs in the long run,” said Masagos Zulkifli, Singapore’s minister for the environment and water resources.

A few weeks ago, United Overseas Bank, Southeast Asia’s third-largest finance group and Singapore’s third-largest bank, said that it would stop funding coal powered projects. Before UOB’s decision to quit funding coal projects, two other big banks from Singapore, OCBC and DBS had taken the same decision in support of sustainable development without fossil-based fuels, according to the statement issued by UOB.