Accra Breweries Limited, a member of AB InBEV, a brewing powerhouse in Belguim, has started a process to help achieve its long-term goal of reducing its waste to a projected zero per cent.
As a first step, the company embarked on a 100 million-dollar expansion project from February 2015 in two phases.
The first phase of the project focused on the introduction of environmentally friendly technology to reduce its water use and carbon emissions.
This included an upgrade of its brewing technology, expansion of fermenters, electrical upgrades and the installation of two hi-technology packaging lines for its beer, soft drinks and malt products as well as a warehouse and gatehouse.
The second phase involves a recently completed environmentally friendly Effluent Treatment Plant.
The plant is designed to capture biogas to power the brewery’s boilers and to reduce the amount of waste released into the municipal system, thus minimising its environmental impact.
During a media tour of facilities organised for members of the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ), Mr Dennis Arhin, the Utilities Manager of ABL, said the effluent treatment system collected waste water from the brewery section and took them through several stages to remove debris and re-treated it into clean water that could be used to clean the plant.
He said the system, which was at the commissioning stage, was built to treat a volume of 2,792 cubic metres of water per day but currently processed an average of 600 cubic metres per day.
Ms Adjoba Kyiamah, the Corporate and Legal Affairs Director of ABL, said about 50 per cent of the waste generated by the plant was either used as raw material by third parties such as pig farmers or recycled.
“Our challenge now is with our PET bottles” she said, referring to the plastic bottles used for its Beta Malt and Club mineral drinks.
“There’s no PET recycling plant in the market now and, therefore, one of our sustainable development ambition is to see how best we can find a partner to take our PET bottles,” she said.
Ms Kyiamah said in the meantime the company had a collection point at its plant where the bottles were collected and given to some small-scale recyclers.
“The challenge, in the future, will be to find a local use for the PET bottles,” she said.
Other facilities in the second phase are an upgrade of ABL’s municipal water supply line, further expansion of new brewing equipment, and a new staff canteen and changing rooms.
The rest are installation of equipment for the production of Chibuku Super, a new unfiltered beer specially brewed from Sorghum and Maize to give lower alcohol and the installation of solar powered street lights on site.