A milestone in Ghana

Since 2018, Komptech has been active on the African market with great success. In cooperation with the Jospong Group, 14 mobile processing lines and the first stationary plant are in operation in Ghana, with a second under construction. In addition to machines, there is a local demand for waste processing knowledge.

November 23, 2021

Each year Ghana generates about five million tonnes of municipal waste, an estimated 60 percent of which is organic. Of this, about a quarter can be composted, giving an annual return of some 750,000 tonnes of valuable soil improver. All told, around 80 percent of the waste of this West African country is reusable or recyclable. In recent years Ghana decentralized its waste disposal system, creating the conditions for better waste reclamation. Local government and the private sector are putting the necessary structures in place. This makes Ghana one of Africa’s most advanced countries in respect of waste disposal. Zoomlion Ghana Ltd (Jospong Group) is a pacemaker, as Ghana’s largest waste disposal and processing company.

Adapted to local conditions
When Komptech and the Jospong Group together planned the first waste treatment facilities in Ghana in 2018, the decision was made to use a combination of mobile and semi-mobile machines. Gottfried Reither, Director System Technology at Komptech, explains: “Zoomlion urgently needed facilities to treat about 600 tonnes of municipal waste daily in Accra. A stationary plant requires infrastructure and above all a reliable supply of electricity, which was not available. But thanks to autonomous operation with diesel engines or generators we were able to set up the lines as needed, and they were ready for immediate operation.

When orderly reclamation is just getting started, flexible machinery is better as a first step.” The specially developed Komptech processing plants select the biogenic component out of the waste and send it to composting, while separating the recyclables out of the rest, so that only a small remaining amount of waste is landfilled.

Before working with Komptech, Zoomlion had tasked an Asian machine manufacturer with the construction of a stationary facility. However, neither the performance nor the after sales service were up to expectations, so Jospong Group representatives travelled to Europe to look around for the right partner. They found it in Komptech. Reither: “We looked at pictures of the existing plant in Adjen Kotoku and could tell immediately that it wasn’t going to work.”

As a systems technology professional, he saw four design flaws right from the photos. He grabbed a pen and sketched out how a preparation process could work well under the existing conditions. The Ghana delegation liked the pragmatic approach, and invited Komptech for a visit to the Ghanaian capital of Accra. A first order for five semi-mobile lines was followed by another for nine. Each of them can process 200 tonnes of mixed domestic waste per day.

Step two: The stationary facility
For Kumasi north of Accra, Zoomlion needed a substantially larger facility with a capacity of around 600 tonnes of mixed domestic waste per day. In this case, for economic reasons waste separation needed to be electric-powered. An existing hall was converted for the purpose. “When the infrastructure is there for it and the composition of the waste is known, a stationary solution is more economical. The higher efficiency of electric systems also plays into it,” explains Reither. Furthermore, some machines such as ballistic sifters and post-shredders are only available as stationary machines. However, they can achieve a more differentiated separation of the waste stream, so that more recyclables can be extracted.

The new facility in Kumasi uses a Terminator 3400 shredder, followed by two-stage screening to 0-80 mm, 80-300 mm and >300 mm fractions. At four process stations Zoomlion employees assist with separation. Thus, the plant has created 400 new jobs. After manual removal of contraries and shredding, the input material is fractioned by Komptech drum screens. The fines (<80 mm) go through a 2SE star screen and then to composting in a tunnel system.

The resulting compost is subsequently prepped with Cribus 3800 drum screens and a wind sifter. The 80–300 mm fraction is separated into cubic and flat fractions by a Ballistor 6300. Recyclables like wood, PET, PE, PP and non-ferrous metals are manually picked from the cubic fraction. Ferrous metals are removed automatically. Recyclables are manually picked from the >300 mm fraction as well. Reither: “Technically, the Kumasi plant absolutely meets European standards.”

Service and training on-site
In order to provide service for the Jospong Group, Komptech has set up a local presence in Ghana. Komptech Service Technician Eric Martey is stationed there and regularly inspects all plants. Manfred Harb, Director Customer Services Komptech, explains, “when we set up a new service structure, there are three possibilities. We find a local service partner with a spare parts warehouse. Or we provide service with a Komptech technician and use spare parts from our stock or the customer’s stock. Or, we contract maintenance by the customer with our assistance.”

In all cases, sales and service partners as well as the customers are trained on the machines on site, through documentation and commissioning, to transfer the necessary knowledge and also pass along beneficial experience. In addition, maintenance agreements include a Komptech technician present as supervisor for inspections during the first 3000 operating hours. “As a rule, after this time most maintenance and repair events have come up at least once, and the customer has been able to gain sufficient experience. We also use digital systems like Connect, Assist and Track to make information available and help with service,” adds Harb.