GOIL Company Limited will begin producing quality bitumen in large quantities by the end of September this year. The 35-million-dollar project started two years ago and has three facilities – a three-in-one project stocking raw bitumen, production of Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB) and Emulsions.
The plant is about 82 percent complete and is being constructed in partnership with SMB of Cote d’ Ivoire. The technical consultant to the Group CEO & MD, Mr. Ben Torkornoo, explained that GOIL will have a 60 percent stake in the project, while SMB – which will provide the raw bitumen materials – gets a 40 percent share.
The Head of Technical Services-GOIL, Mr. Alphonso Okai Jnr., said the PMB will be important to prevent road deformation and ensure durability of the roads. The plant, he added, is expected to stock a capacity of 6,000 metric tonnes of raw bitumen while producing 200 metric tonnes per day of PMB and 200 metric tonnes of emulsions daily.
The internationally acclaimed and highly recommended PMB product, which is a processed product of raw bitumen, possess a resilient and long-lasting feature capable of sustaining and preserving roads for a longer period of time than the regular asphalted roads.
The plant is expected to produce required volumes and other bituminous products sufficient to the needs of Ghana’s road construction sector, while reducing drastically the importation of bituminous products into the country and also serve as an export material to other countries, particularly in the West Africa sub-region.
It will also produce special requirements of the industry – including Fuel Resistant Grades for road intersections, airport taxiway and aprons as well as truck parking areas.
With the plant’s completion and production, Ghana is expected to save over US$11billion annually from cutting the importation of bitumen, mainly from Cote d’Ivoire and Brazil.
The Managing Director and Group CEO of GOIL, Mr. Kwame Osei Prempeh, added that GOIL’s entry into the bitumen market is part of a strategy to widen its portfolio and consolidate gains it has already chalked up in the industry.
“The completion and operation of the project will ensure supply of bitumen for expanding the nation’s road network, and GOIL’s objective is to be the major supplier of bitumen and producer of the best quality Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB) for the country,” he added.
He is hopeful the project will help reduce the country’s reliance on importation of the products.
The Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta who toured the plant, suggested that GOIL should consider offering reasonable discounts to Ghanaian contractors when the plant begins full operation. He further added that government will negotiate with foreign contractors to source their bitumen requirements from Ghana.
Mr. Amoako Atta commended GOIL for its strategic decision to become a major player in the bitumen market.
He assured that the Roads ministry will ensure a proper makeover of the main road that leads to the plant’s site, in order to demonstrate the use and effectiveness of bitumen produced in Ghana.