Although, Ghana’s Energy Efficiency Regulation prohibits the importation of used refrigerators and similar electrical gadgets, used fridges, many illegally exported from Europe, are still freely available.
Now, with plans in place for Ghana’s own refrigerator factory, the authorities have promised a crackdown on sellers of secondhand fridges.
According to Ghana’s Daily Guide website, Alfred Ahenkorah, executive secretary of the Energy Commission has warned those selling used imported refrigerators to get rid of them as soon as possible, working with customs and other enforcement agencies to seize used fridges at the country’s ports.
Apart from the fact that many of the scrap fridges from Europe are running on ozone-depleting CFCs, they are particularly inefficient compared to modern units.
There have been previously reported seizures of scrap fridges bound for Africa in the ports of Rotterdam and Hamburg.
Last year, ACR News reported on a scam uncovered by European customs officers of false stickers being used by criminals to disguise illegal exports of waste or secondhand CFC refrigeration equipment. Customs intercepted shipments of scrap refrigerators in Germany and the Netherlands which had fake stickers attached to the compressors, suggesting that they contained R600a (isobutane) when in fact they contained the now banned CFC R12. Around the same time, Swedish customs officers also uncovered a batch of counterfeit R134a stickers, presumably printed for the same purpose.
Ghana’s Energy Commission estimates that the secondhand fridges typically consume around 1,200KWh a year – around three times the energy consumption of the latest fridges.
Feasibility studies undertaken by the Ghanaian government are said to have yielded positive results in respect of the economic viability of building its own refrigerator factory, while two private sector operators also envisage establishing a plant for the same purpose in 2015.
According to Alfred Ahenkorah, a company had already begun laying the foundation for a refrigerator manufacturing plant in the Free Zones Enclave, while another company was also in the process of bringing in its overseas counterpart for a similar initiative.
Prolux Home Appliances Ghana Ltd is collaborating with the Ghana Association of Importers & Sellers of Used Refrigerators (GAISUR) to establish a refrigerator manufacturing plant in the country in 2015. The new plant will produce about 800 refrigerators per year.