A delegation from Wongpanit Pathong Company Limited, a leading Thailand and global waste management company, has called on the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, in Accra.
The meeting, which came off on Friday, February 24, 2023, was facilitated by the Jospong Group of Companies (JGC), led by its Executive Chairman, Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong.
The Wongpanit delegation, led by their President, Dr Somthai Wongcharden, briefed the Minister on the company’s operations.
According to Dr Wongcharden, Wongapanit focuses mainly on recyclable materials, but added that “right now we are also developing through non-recyclable waste from the municipal solid waste, so we also work on landfills.”
“We collect waste from various households and then transfer them to our recycle facilities,” he said.
He pointed out that a key success factor of the company was first to think of the needs of the market, then “we tailor our products and services to meet the demands of the market.”
Dr Wongcharden, who spoke through an interpreter, noted further that they were into urban mining of waste, saying that the company mines waste from the cities.
“We work as a private company but we have also connections with the government of Thailand,” he admitted.
Furthermore, the President of Wongpanit Pathong Co., Ltd., disclosed that his company manages hazardous waste that were recyclable such as car batteries, electronic waste (e-waste) among others.
“We are also into recycling of car batteries, used car recycling. We also work with Mercedes Benz Thailand to destroy damaged cars,” he said.
He revealed that Wongpanit Pathong Co., Ltd., has 2,334 branches across Thailand, adding that the company has branches in Cambodia and the United States of America and other parts of the world.
The branches in the United States, he said, were doing very well.
The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mrs Dapaah, warmly welcomed the Wongpanit delegation, and expressed joy at the Thai investors’ interest in Ghana.
“I must say that you are with the right person and the right company (making reference to Dr Siaw Agyepong and his Jospong Group of Companies),” she told the delegation.
She commended the Jospong Group of Companies for its growth in the recycling space.
“But I am sure you [Wongpanit Pathong] are older and bigger as a company so the mutual working together will be highly profitable,” she positively stated.
In the light of the above, the minister challenged the Jospong Group of Companies and other interested private companies to explore the possibility of investing in the recycling of used vehicles.
“It will be very interesting for the Jospong Group of Companies and other interested private companies to explore investing in the space of recycling of used vehicles,” she urged.
She underscored that this was a new area which holds prospects for companies and investors, stating that it is interesting to learn that the Thai waste management company was into recycling of used cars.
“We have a lot of damaged cars sitting in the police stations; a lot of used tyres gather mosquitoes, especially during the rainy season, and this is a very interesting area,” she said.
Mrs Dapaah seized the chance to appeal to both foreign and local investors to come and invest in Ghana’s waste management space, underscoring that Ghana produces about 7 million tons of waste a year of which about 64% is organic.
She averred that the collaboration between the government and the private sector was yielding “huge results.”
“…and I must say that we are on the right path,” she admitted.
One of such major collaborations, she said, was the construction of recycle plants in all the 16 regions of the country.
“And as I speak we have 2 of 3 liquid waste management companies that are also ready. One has been commissioned and we have 2 more coming up,” Mrs Dapaah said.
These waste management facilities, she said, were made possible through the government’s collaboration with the JGC.
Mrs Dapaah re-affirmed the government’s policy of teaming up with the private sector to spur the country’s growth, insisting that “without the private sector we will not succeed.”
Later in the day the delegation toured some of the facilities of the JGC within the Greater Accra Region.
These were JA Plant Pool, Sewerage Systems Ghana Ltd., Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant (IRECoP).
The rest were Agbogbloshie Metal Scrub Dealers, Adipa Waste Management Centre and Accra Compost and Recycling Plant (ACARP).