Government leases e-waste facility


Over 15 types of electronic and electrical equipment (EEE) will be dismantled and recycled to generate other valuable materials. / Courtesy

The Government is today expected to sign a ten-year lease agreement with a private investor to manage and operate the E-Waste Dismantling and Recycling facility located in Bugesera District.

The private company has been identified as Enviroserve Rwanda Green Park (a subsidiary of the Emirati company Enviroserve Services LLC Dubai).

Last week’s Cabinet meeting approved the lease agreement between the Government of Rwanda and Enviroserve under which the latter will manage and operate the facility in Bugesera Industrial Park.

According to information from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Enviroserve Services LLC Dubai emerged as the successful bidder to operate the facility and will also be responsible for its expansion in the future.

“Moreover, the investor will expand the facility and establish collection points around the country,” a statement from the ministry reads in part.

E-waste such as personal computers, printers, mobile phones, photocopying machines, refrigerators, air conditioners, televisions, washing machines, car batteries, among others ready for dismantling at Bugesera-based facility. / Courtesy

In December 2016, a Cabinet meeting approved the National Sanitation Policy which prioritises Public-Private Partnerships in establishing and operating E-waste management infrastructure (E-waste dismantling facility and collection points).

The Ministry of Trade and Industry, in its effort to support sustainable recycling industries, received an investment of approximately US$1.5 million from the Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) to support e-waste management Project in Rwanda.

Based on the Public Private Partnership Law, the Ministry of Trade and Industry initiated the process of securing a potential private partner to manage and operate the E-waste Dismantling and Recycling Facility.

The Rwanda Development Board, together with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, led the development and negotiations of the lease agreement with the potential private partner.

To ensure the proper and sustainable management of the E-waste Dismantling and Recycling Facility, the statement says, a partnership with a professional private company – now Emviroserve – was proposed to allow the facility to generate income, expand and create more green jobs.

Though the statement is silent on the lease amount, sources said “it is well and above the investment.”

The E-waste Dismantling and Recycling Facility is highly expected to offer an “end-of-life“ solution for electrical and electronic waste in Rwanda, according to experts.

The facility aims to allow the sustainable use of ICT equipment, prevent the negative impacts of electronic and electrical waste on human health and the environment.

Environmentalists say that the facility will also strengthen the Rwandan economy through creation of green jobs.

The e-waste facility can dismantle 7,000 tonnes a year, according to its manager Olivier Mbera, making it the second largest e-waste recycling plant in Africa.

The facility leased to Enviroserve Rwanda Green Park is worth Rwf1.26bn is under the ministry of trade, industry (MINICOM), it was funded by Rwanda Green Fund. / Courtesy

During a recent tour of the regional leading waste management engineers and experts to Bugesera-based facility, Raj Hemansing Prayag, from the Mauritius Oceanography Institute, noted that, “the investment is proof of how Rwanda is responding to climate change and the opportunities of the green economy.”

There is an annual growth in the importation of electrical and electronic equipment to Rwanda of approximately 6 per cent (based on 2010 to 2014 figures).

Key terms of the lease agreement

According to the ministry, the Lease agreement will see Enviroserve Rwanda Green Park develop e-waste collection points/centres around the country to ensure proper collection and treatment of electrical and electronic waste.

It will also expand the e-waste dismantling facility by introducing new machinery and equipment such as refrigerant gas recycling machinery, data destruction machinery, and others.

The agreement also requires Enviroserve to “Pay the Government of Rwanda a total lease fee over the 10-year period that will more than cover the initial investment in the project and conduct regular public awareness about the proper management of e-waste and its impact on human health and the environment,” the statement further states.

On the other hand, the lease fee paid to the Government of Rwanda will be reinvested in environmental and green growth initiatives through the Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA), The New Times understands.