By Lucas Liganga
The Citizen Chief Reporter
Mwanza. “Cleaner production is a good concept because it gives you room to measure efficiency by yourself. The right way is to minimise whatever possible,” says Peter Simon, Head of Quality, Environmental, Occupational, Safety and Health with Nyanza Bottling Company Limited.
He adds: “Cleaner production is a constructive tool in terms of managing operations, efficiency, cost benefits and waste reduction. It is simple to implement and practical.”
Nyanza Bottling Company Limited, a franchise of Coca-Cola brand of soft drinks located at Nyakato industrial area, eight kilometres east of Mwanza, is among a number of industries in Mwanza that are implementing the cleaner production project under the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Program phase II (LVEMP II) which is designed to address pollution and inefficient utilisation of resources in industries located within the Lake Victoria Basin.
The project is being implemented by the Cleaner Production Centre of Tanzania (CPCT) and coordinated by the Lake Victoria Basin through the Kenya National Cleaner Production Centre (KNCPC).
This project is among attempts aimed at saving Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh water lake, from severe environmental degradation.
Simon says cleaner production is intended to help reduce waste generation, improve workplace environment and reduce emissions and discharges to the environment for the benefit of communities living around factories.
He says these measures are essential for the prevention of environmental pollution and conservation of water, which is the major raw material used by the Coca-Cola plant.
Simon says since the Cleaner Production concept began to be implemented in 2010 at Nyanza Bottling Company Ltd, the plant addressed three areas for a quick fix on a medium and long term basis.
He says quick fix options focused on addressing obvious waste streams where it involved measures to control leakages emanating from damaged pipes, spillages and losses due to improper handling or faulty machinery.
The overall mission was to reduce the water use ratio (WUR) which was 5.0 litres per litre of beverage prior to the project implementation.
Simon says a leaks elimination team was formed from engineering, production and quality departments and their duties were to monitor closely the water usage in each unit operations, to install meters at the pump house, water treatment, bottle washers, and boreholes as well as to install overhead tanks in public toilets to minimise leakages and bursting of pipes.
By implementing quick fix options, the company managed to reduce water use ratio from 5.0 to 2.4 litres per litre of beverage.
Medium-term options involved the use of gas scrubber water in the same plant till when it is saturated, instead of discharging it into the environment after it is used once.
This involved replacing wood pallets with plastic ones, channeling the final rinse water for cleaning plastic crates instead of discharging it into the environment, measuring the boiler efficient yearly by accredited organisations, recycling of condensate water from all heating processes by steam to the feed water tank in the boiler and re-use of used oil from vehicles into the boiler.
And the long-term options are re-cycling of backwash water from water treatment plant for other beneficial use, a saving of 45 cubic metres of water per day and construction of an effluent treatment plant so as to utilise treated effluents for other beneficial use such as vehicle washing, gardening and construction. A total saving of 1,100 cubic metres of water per day was realised.
Simon says the implementation of the cleaner production concept reinforces the implementation of the Coca-Cola Management system known in its acronym as TCCMS.
For example, he says, the upgrading of the wastewater and material recovery system will be able to minimise water consumption as well as other costs like chemicals which are used to treat water.
“We are also minimising in-plant pollution by dealing with all types of waste by keeping our general manufacturing practices in place,” he says, adding that these options will really bring both economic and environment benefits that contribute to the sustainability of the plant.
Simon says as the soft drinks plant moved on from using furnace oil boiler to agro waste type boiler – six tonnes/hour – the company has been able to make an immediate saving of 3,000 litres of diesel per day since steam is quickly generated and being used efficiently as no steam leaks occur compared to when an old boiler was being used.
Secondly, he says, the bottling plant has become environmental friendly since the flue gases emitted have got no environmental impact.
The improvement in water recycling has reduced the load from the waste water treatment plant and hence the treatment costs are going down gradually, he says.
Simon adds that caustic solution re-circulation has resulted in alkalinity reduction from the waste water stream.
“Recycling of crate chips and glass has made our plant become one of the cleanest plants. And recycling of worn out pallets also have made our plant tidier,” says Simon.
“When you identify quick options such as eliminating water leakages you will immediately get tangible results or what I can term as hanging fruits waiting for harvest,” says Simon.
Jacob Maiseli, Vicfish Ltd quality assurance manager, says the fish processing plant situated on the shores of Lake Victoria at Igogo area adopted the cleaner production concept in 2000.
He says the concept has been beneficial to the company giving as an example the recycling of water used for cooling refrigeration units (condensers) by using cooling towers that has saved 236,520 cubic metres of water a year, which is an equivalent of saving Sh95 million a year.
He says the plant has also been able to reduce the water flow rate in the processing line by 10 per cent, to repair leaking water points and perform overall preventive maintenance, use sensors, knee/foot operated water valve, and stopping using water to dissolve used ice by just letting the ice to melt at ambient temperature.
Maiseli says the plant has also been able to reduce energy consumption by 25 per cent with savings of Sh166 million per year.
He says this has been possible by switching off lights after working hours, installing translucent roofing sheets and glass blocks to allow in natural light instead of using lights using electricity, and better insulation of cold rooms and chilled rooms, among other measures.
Erick Ernest, process engineer with Tanzania Breweries Ltd located at Pasiansi in Mwanza, says after the plant started to implement cleaner production in 2010 the first priority was to reduce water use.
“To date we have managed to reduce water use from 2,000 cubic metres a day to 1,200 cubic metres a day,” says Ernest.
He says under the cleaner production concept, TBL has also introduced other measures, including treatment of waste water for other use such as gardening.
“We also used to dump spent grain and yeast. But now we are drying spent yeast and sell it as animal feed, getting Sh1.7million a month,” he says, adding that the spent grain is sold for Sh1,000 a tonne for feeding cows and pigs.
“We get about Sh600,000 a month from sales of spent grain,” says Ernest.
He says the plant has also put in place a system of collecting bottle breakages by creating collection points.
“We used to dump bottle breakages but we are now ferrying them to Kioo Limited where they are reused for making bottles,” says Ernest, adding that a worker who collects sizeable amounts of bottle breakages gets a bonus of one crate of beer.
The process engineer says the plant has also acquired waste fuel boilers that use spent grains as fuel, reducing spent grains waste volume by 30 per cent and also reducing carbon emissions that are currently emitted from heavy fuel boilers.
Other measures that are being implemented include the introduction of bottle washer water recovery where water collected from bottle washers is reused for crate washing and floor cleaning.
Ernest says TBL workers are also trained in safer production and accident prevention, covering the specific areas and practices where actions need to be taken in order to promote safer production and prevent or reduce the potential for industrial accidents.
He says this covers the training of employees in Safety Healthy and Environment (SHE) courses that are conducted every year for a selected list of employees, adding that the target is to cover all employees by 2015.
The CPCT executive director, Prof Cleophas Migiro, says the project in Tanzania started in August 2010 after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the KNCPC, adding that the project focuses mainly on industries located in Bukoba and Musoma municipalities, and in Mwanza.
“CPCT plays a key role in ensuring that manufacturing and service enterprises prevent and minimise generation of waste at source through the adoption of resource efficient and cleaner production techniques and technologies,” says Prof Migiro.
He says adoption and implementation of resource efficient and cleaner production leads to significant benefits in terms of financial savings for materials, water and energy as well as reduced pollution of the environment and improved working conditions for the workers.
“Thus, this win-win strategy contributes towards sustainable industrial development,” he emphasises.
LVEMP II is a six-year (September 2009-June 2014) regional project which is being implemented by the five riparian countries sharing the Lake Victoria Basin. They are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.
LVEMP II is a follow-up of LVEMP I which was implemented by three EAC partner states of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania from 1997 to December 2005.
LVEMP II aims at contributing to the East African Community’s (EAC) Vision and Strategy Framework for Management and Development of the Lake Victoria basin of having a prosperous population living in a healthy and sustainably managed environment providing equitable opportunities and benefits.
Anne Magashi, CPCT deputy executive director, says the project will contribute to broad-based poverty alleviation and improvement of shared natural resources of the Lake Victoria Basin (LVB).
Ms Magashi says the specific objectives of LVEMP II are to improve collaborative management of trans-boundary natural resources of LVB for the shared benefits of the EAC partner states and to reduce environmental stress in targeted pollution hot spots and selected degraded sub-catchments in order to improve the livelihoods of communities who depend on the natural resources of the LVB.
She says the cleaner production component in Tanzania has registered a number of achievements in most of its activities, including training of 62 enterprises in resource efficient and cleaner production (RECP).
Out of the 62 trained enterprises, about 20 have already conducted in-plant assessments to identify RECP options for improving their operations.
Implementation of these options in the respective enterprises has reached different levels of achievement in terms of pollution reduction and financial savings in water, materials and energy use, she says.
Ms Magashi adds that under this project, economic and environmental benefits realised from the Cleaner Production interventions in industry is disseminated through workshops, newsletters, print media, the regional RECP network and websites.