Case: Arch Holdings, Ghana (2023)

Raising the standards for Ghana's LPG market


Our solution

The outcome

Scope of supply

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is an important part of energy supply for the people of Ghana. However, the country’s LPG infrastructure and supply chain have been due for modernisation for some years now. Arch Holdings has decided to address that, and in 2023, we delivered and installed one of the country’s largest and most advanced plants for filling and maintenance of gas cylinders to date.

Arch Holdings is a wholly owned Ghanaian company headquartered in Ghana and operating in the petroleum, energy, telecommunications, and food processing industries. In 2016, The Quantum Group, which is a subsidiary of Arch Holdings, first contacted MAKEEN Energy and requested a series of initial field studies for a potential filling plant in Accra. This sowed the seed that grew into a multi-stage project and would, 8 years later, deliver the fruit of a complete and highly automatic filling plant with a big impact on the supply and safety of Ghana’s LPG market. A plant that would operate under the newly established subsidiary Newgas Cylinder Bottling.

Hitting the ground running

The background story for the Newgas plant is an LPG market that needed an overhaul. The Government of Ghana in 2017, following a number of deadly explosions, mandated a complete reorganisation of the LPG sector.  This involved a change in the LPG distribution system from the current use of small-scale refilling facilities scattered around the cities to the Cylinder Recirculation Model. This shift aligned perfectly with the goals of the Arch Holdings.

Arch Holdings did not own any existing LPG filling plants, and they wanted to start by setting a high standard. That meant a high degree of automation, modern and precise equipment, and all the safety and maintenance functions they could get. The plant includes a fully automatic filling line with a 36-post carrousel for 6 kg, 12 kg, and 14 kg with a capacity to fill 1,800 cylinders per hour. Another filling line features a smaller 8-post carrousel for 3 kg cylinders, filling at a rate of 1,000 cylinders per hour. Bigger cylinders are filled on a small stationary line.

And, adjacent to the filling lines, there is a complete maintenance and refurbishment line where cylinders are shot-blasted and repainted, their shrouds and foot rings are straightened, and all the other necessary procedures to make them both attractive and safe for the consumers. With a direct chain conveyor connection between the maintenance line and the filling lines, newly refurbished cylinders waste no time in storage – they can be filled instantly and make their way to the market. Given that there is a significant challenge with many poorly maintained cylinders on the Ghanaian market, having this line as part of the facility was an easy and strategically sound choice for Arch Holdings 

The electrical system in this plant is also noteworthy, as it is technologically a step above what we have previously installed in most projects in Africa. Everything is automated with excellent levels of precision and safety.

Primed for future growth

The Newgas filling plant went into operation in early 2024, and the project will have a highly positive effect on the LPG market situation in Ghana. But the commissioning actually only marks the end of the first phase of this project.

Once the plant has been up and running, and the market growth has stabilised, Arch Holdings plans to add a second set of carrousel filling lines, identical to the first, thereby doubling the capacity of the plant. And the plant even has space for a third carrousel line when another few years have passed. That means that this Newgas plant will eventually be churning out up to 5,400 filled standard-size cylinders in excellent condition every hour, making sure that the population in and around Accra will have access to clean fuel from safe cylinders. And Arch Holdings is set to be the locomotive that drives the Ghanaian LPG sector forward.

It is a pleasure to be part of such an important project with Arch Holdings and to see it come to fruition after a long period of research, planning, and installation – of which MAKEEN Energy handled not just the filling equipment but also electrical and compressed air installations. We look forward to the next stages and the continuation of our great collaboration.

Newgas was established to implement the Arch Holdings ‘Wood Fuels to LPG Conversion Program’ aimed at increasing the adoption of LPG as a cleaner cooking alternative. In 2016, following careful assessment of multiple LPG filling equipment options, we engaged MAKEEN Energy. Throughout the entire project development and implementing stages, the Makeen team has offered great support. Together, we've successfully delivered a cutting-edge filling facility in Tema which we anticipate will revolutionise the LPG bottling landscape in Ghana.

Emmanuel Egyei-Mensah Executive Director, Quantum Terminals
  • Fact

    MAKEEN Energy is currently cooperating with Arch Holdings to develop a new system to allow for completely automatic reading and input of tare weight from QR codes affixed to the Newgas cylinders– with high efficiency and no human error. This system has the potential to be a significant innovation for high-capacity filling in Africa.

You might also be interested in