The Energy minister, Mr. John Peter Amewu, has cut the sod for commencement of work on a Bitumen plant in Tema
The project estimated to cost about US$35million, and is a joint-venture between GOIL Company Limited and Societe Multinationale de Bitumes, (SMB) of La Cote d’ Ivoire.
The plant, which has the capacity to produce 8,000 metric tonnes of Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB) and Bitumen Emulsion, is expected to be completed in two years.
Presently, no Oil Marketing Company in Ghana supplies PMB for road construction. Most major road contractors import the product in bitumen containers from abroad – especially La Cote D’Ivoire, which has been supplying 80 percent of Ghana’s bitumen requirement.
Mr, Amewu lauded GOIL for its strategic decision to become a major player in the bitumen market, as a producer of the best quality PMB for the country. He underscored government’s determination to deliver major roads that are durable, robust and can withstand all weather conditions.
He commended GOIL and SMB for the bold and innovative initiative, and noted it is a classic example of cooperation in development worthy of emulation in the sub-region.
The Acting Managing Director and Group CEO of GOIL, Mr. Kwame Osei Prempeh, said GOIL’s entry into the bitumen market is part of a strategy to widen its portfolio and consolidate gains already made in the fuel business.
He thanked government for creating the conducive environment for growth of the petroleum sector, and lauded the role of outgoing Managing Director, Mr. Patrick Akorli, for the foresight and determination which have resulted in the project. He also commended Nana Yaw Owusu, Otumfuor’s Mpaboahene and a representative of SMB, for his facilitating role.
The Managing Director of SMB of La Cote d’Ivoire, Mamadou Doumbia is elated the project has come to fruition, noting it will ultimately enhance peaceful business relations between Ghana and la Cote d’ Ivoire.
In attendance were representatives of SMB, Ghana Highway authority, National Petroleum Authority and other stakeholders.