Norfund Backs Plastic Recyclers In Nigeria And Ghana

Norfund says these are the first of many investments into the sector.

By Liz Bains on
28th July 2023

Norfund, the Norwegian investment fund for developing countries, is supporting the expansion of two plastics recyclers in Nigeria and Ghana.

Norfund is proving a €2 million (US$2.2 million) convertible loan to Lagos-based Wecyclers Nigeria. This will finance the construction of a new polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle recycling plant in Ogun State. The facility will have a capacity of 12,000 tonnes a year.

Unilever Nigeria and Bridges Outcomes Partnership recently agreed a US$2 million development impact bond to support the expansion of Wecyclers' collection network. 

Italy’s Serioplast is a minority shareholder in Wecyclers, which is a for-profit social enterprise.

Norfund has also announced a US$10.5 million investment in Miniplast Ghana, a plastics manufacturer based in Accra.

The funds will go towards purchasing new manufacturing equipment and supporting Miniplast’s expansion into new product offerings. It will also finance machinery to increase the company’s recycling capacity to 1,700 tonnes a month. This will further enable Miniplast to substitute imported plastic resins with locally sourced recycled materials.

Established in 1988, Miniplast specialises in injection moulding and blow moulding, with its key offerings being products made from polyethylene, polypropylene and PET plastics. It has a current production capacity of 41 tonnes a day and directly employs more than 650 people. The company also operates waste collection and grinding hubs in Kumasi and Tamale.

Since 2020, Miniplast has established an in-house plastics recycling business segment and installed solar power generation capacity.

Norfund said the investment was in line with its strategy to invest ‘patient capital’ in scalable enterprises in manufacturing and waste management in Sub-Saharan Africa. It added that the investment in Miniplast is expected to create 850 jobs across the plastics value chain.

“While the contributions of these two investments may seem small compared to the overwhelming challenge of plastic pollution, by showcasing a functioning model, they enable the development of an industry and the promotion of a culture of waste management," said Carl Johan Wahlund, investment director for green infrastructure at Norfund. "They will be Norfund’s first of many planned investments into the sector."

Photo: Plastic bottles (© Hupeng | Dreamstime)

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