DUSSELDORF, Germany, December 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
NATO's integrated logistics service agency, the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) and Ecolog, the solutions provider in customized life support and logistics solutions, have been closely cooperating on projects supporting the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan for more than a decade now.
More recently, in the context of the drawdown of troops' and consequent retrograde gearing up towards the end of their mission there, arose the necessity to dispose of, in compliance with international standards, large quantities of hazardous waste material, accumulated during more than eleven years of presence and operations in the country.
Ecolog was able to respond to the challenge, fulfilling the stringent criteria associated to an operation of such a scale and requiring large numbers of personnel, as well as equipment for the project.
A NSPA Operational Logistics Project Manager stated that Ecolog has risen to the challenge, through being flexible, though, and reactive in supporting the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Nations with the drawdown and dismantling of force establishments.
Indeed, the diversity of the waste, to include fuels, oils and lubricants, all types of batteries including lead-acid, nickel-metal hydride, dry cells, gel, nickel-cadmium and lithium, compressed gas cylinders, solvents, paints and chemical products such as pesticides and detergents, bulbs, waste containing asbestos and contaminated soils, require an exceptional range of equipment and technical skills to be disposed of in compliance with the European Commission directives and regulations.
The expertise of Ecolog in the field of Hazmat and dangerous goods and experience in operating a diversity of machines such as medical and non-medical waste incinerators, bulb crushers, oil filter crushers, aerosol piercers, refrigerant recovery machines, a wide range of recycling machines, soon to include lead acid battery recycling machine, were determinant.
Peter Esser, Group General Manager of Strategy and Development of Ecolog International, highlighted: "We are very proud to be working to support NSPA in Afghanistan and we feel we are regarded as a partner in this endeavor, which was made possible under their leadership in gathering requirements of the contingents from all the nations under a single umbrella, while safeguarding continuous quality standards."
Today, ensuring compliance in Afghanistan with the EU directives on the incineration of waste, Ecolog currently operates twelve state-of-the-art waste incinerators, including at Kandahar Airfield and in Mazar el Sherif, equipped with flue-gas treatment and a continuous emission-monitoring system. In total so far more than 600 tons of various hazardous wastes have been collected from multiple camps, transported, consolidated and stored in dedicated centers, then segregated, treated and recycled in country for the large majority of the cases, in collaboration with local partners and otherwise shipped to Germany to be disposed of appropriately.
Ecolog and NSPA close cooperating on several projects supporting the NATO mission in Afghanistan, of which the longest standing project started in 2007, when NSPA took over managing operations at the Kandahar Airfield on behalf of NATO. Ecolog provides and maintains there more than 600 light vehicles and dozens of heavy equipment and performs services including laundry, ablution and cleaning services for the troops.
The largest laundry facility in Afghanistan is actually in Kandahar Airfield, operated by Ecolog, where over 4,500 laundry bags have been serviced daily. Ecolog utilizes an embedded RFID tracking for automatic management and monitoring of services. Furthermore, Ecolog has provided over 200 hand-washing stations and up to 19001,600 mobile sanitation units are serviced per day, along with cleaning tens of thousands of square meters in various base facilities, in addition Ecolog collects liquid waste and operates the wastewater treatment plant, handling about 4,000 cubic meters every day.
As an integrated service solutions provider for the various NATO projects Afghanistan-wide, Ecolog performs multiple services in order to maintain facilities and provide life support services, to include facility maintenance, environmental services, logistics, preparation of food and provision of water, always a critical component of the life support services, in particular in the remote areas where Ecolog operates. For instance, Ecolog runs and maintains for NSPA six reverse osmosis water purification units that provide sustainable and uninterrupted supply of 5,500 cubic meters per day of potable and non-potable water.
Furthermore, since Ecolog built its IT infrastructure on SAP and NSPA has the same Enterprise Resource Planning business management software, it was possible to create dedicated bridges between the two systems, allowing for real time visibility on the operations and complete clarity on invoicing and reporting on field progress.
Overall, more than 4,000 dedicated Ecolog employees are still deployed in Afghanistan to support its operations and locations across the country, where since August 2003 the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has been conducting security operations, while also training and developing the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
The ISAF Mission included the provision of assistance to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the reconstruction and restoration of public infrastructure. ISAF was established on the basis of a request for assistance by the Afghan authorities and under a United Nations mandate.
Given the remoteness of the project locations and the extreme temperatures, the projects in Afghanistan pose a major challenge for all. By providing a wide range of life-critical services, NSPA and Ecolog strive to do what is needed to support and ease the daily routine of the troops on the ground.
In 2011, as agreed with the Afghan authorities, a process of transition of full security responsibility to the Afghan security forces and institutions was launched. That process has been implemented as scheduled and is completed, as illustrated by the recent special ceremony held at the Kabul headquarters, to mark the conclusion of operations by ISAF.
As also agreed with the Afghan authorities, NATO will now lead a follow-on non-combat mission (called "Resolute Support") to train, advice and assist the ANSF after 2014, and to continue to contribute to the long-term financial sustainment of those forces. With nearly a decade of mutual cooperation, NSPA and Ecolog share in the vision to support Afghanistan's development as it enters into a new phase of relations with NATO.
Pierre Die Chachay - VP Marketing - Phone: +971(0)4-299-4500 - E-mail: email@example.com