Business News of 2014-07-31

Refrigerators to be produced locally

The government and some private sector operators have reached advanced stages of separate initiatives for the production of refrigerators in the country.
Feasibility studies undertaken by the government are said to have yielded positive results in respect of the economic viability of the project, while two private sector operators also envisage to establishing a plant for the same purpose in 2015.
These initiatives, which were made known at the launch of brand new refrigerators on the Ghanaian market in Accra last Wednesday, are expected to reduce the importation of used refrigerators and their negative implications, while generating employment for Ghanaians.
Government initiative
The government’s initiative follows feasibility studies sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) into the viability of establishing a plant for the production of refrigerator appliances in the country.
According to the Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission, Dr Alfred Ofosu 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.
“Indeed, the report shows that the economy and that of West Africa can support such plants and so we’ll encourage all of them to do it,” he told the Daily Graphic after the main ceremony.
Dr Ahenkorah said the local manufacturing of refrigerators and freezers would reduce the cost of importing such items by their dealers and thereby boost their incomes.
He, however, said the local manufacturing of refrigerators and freezers must be based on energy efficiency because the law frowned on anything less than that standard.
“Fortunately for Ghana, a brand new test laboratory is being set up. By the end of September, the facility will be working, so there will be something to compare with to check whether you are going according to the standard. “So we now have what it takes to ensure that refrigerators made in Ghana or imported from outside meet the standards,” he said.
Private sector initiative
In another private sector initiative, Prolux Home Appliances Ghana Limited 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 General Manager of Prolux, Mr Luke Dickson, said the plant would produce about 800 refrigerators annually. He called on the government to facilitate the initiative through a public-private-partnership arrangement.
He said the local production of refrigerators would help curb the importation of used refrigerators, which he described as a drain on the country’s energy and the pockets of patrons.
Brand new refrigerators
The Energy Efficiency Regulation, 2008 (LI 1932) prohibits the importation of used refrigerators and similar electrical gadgets. Following the passage of the law in 2008, the Energy Commission had been engaging GAISUR in discussions and programmes on the need to stop the importation of used refrigerators.
For instance, whereas refrigerators used in European countries consume about 149 units of energy per annum, used refrigerators imported from those countries into Ghana consume about 1,200 units of energy per annum.
Through their collaboration, Prolux and GAISUR have initiated a programme under which the former will import energy-efficient brand new refrigerators for members of GAISUR.
Launching the programme, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Ms Sherry Ayitey, said the occasion called for celebration because it marked a watershed in the promotion of energy-efficient appliances. She said while addressing energy-efficiency challenges, it was also important to support efforts at reducing global warming.
Source: graphic.com
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