Romco Metals Ltd, the multinational non-ferrous metal recycler of aluminium and copper, has announced its second recycling facility in Ghana, as it continues its eco-expansion throughout the emerging markets in Africa.
This landmark move for Romco labels the company as a major player in the region following its storming success at its existing Nigeria plant.
Romco’s recycled aluminium produced in Ghana will see secondary metals shipped all over the world to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in Japan, China, South Korea, and beyond, for products like electric vehicles, grid expansions, eco-friendly packaging, and much more. This move is a representation of Africa’s potential as an upcoming force in the sustainables market.
The new facility, boasting two furnaces across two acres, also incorporates blockchain technology, digitalising the assets to track the origins and environmental metrics that verify the eco-credentials of Romco’s low-carbon alternative to primary aluminium.
It is estimated that 3% of the world’s total power is used to produce primary aluminium, and over 61% of that is generated from burning of coal - the highest emitting fossil fuel. Recycling aluminium is the greatest alternative, requiring up to 95% less emissions and power usage compared to raw production, whilst clearing up to 7.62 cubic metres of landfill per tonne. It’s also heavily under-utilised on the African Continent.
On its latest opening, Romco’s CEO, Raymond Onovwigun says: “One of the most important objectives we can achieve in the 21st century is reaching full recycling capacity for the materials we use to limit the pollution and carbon emissions generated for our resources. The only way we can achieve that is to grow recycling capacity, especially in the regions that are underdeveloped, and increase supply consistency to give the industry confidence to purchase larger secondary quotas - and that’s exactly what we’ve achieve by building Romco Ghana.
He continues: “Our Ghanaian recycling expansion is a statement to the global market that we can decarbonise our supply chains and eliminate coal reliance from the emissions heavy sector if we invest in the emerging markets. We are making the notion of change in recycling a reality, and that’s huge.”
The facility took Romco just 12 months to build and has already produced over 180 metric tonnes (mt) of secondary aluminium since opening, with an expected capacity of 800 mt a month.
Per year, Romco says this facility will reduce 34,000 t/co2 emissions, 118,000 mWh’s, of power, and sort up to 73,000 cubic metres of waste from landfills compared to sourcing those materials from primary production. That’s the equivalent emissions of driving 84 million miles in a standard car, power from 18 wind turbines, and the clearance of a premier league football pitch over ten metres high of waste per year.
Despite uncertainty in global markets due to COVID-19, plans are already in place to see the facility upgraded as demand grows. Romco is determined as an organisation to increase recycling capacity where it’s needed most, to achieve a meaningful reduction in the dependence on primary produced metals. This is but one more step in that direction and an exciting development for the environmental cause in a region that needs it.