GIADEC maps out strategy to create transport infrastructure for aluminium industry

The Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) says it is working to create the necessary transport infrastructure that will enable the advancement of Ghana’s aluminium industry.

To this end, a transport working group had been constituted to oversee the development of the infrastructure.

The group, made up of representatives from the Ministries of Roads and Highways, Railways Development, Departments of Urban Roads, Feeder Roads, the Ghana Ports and harbours Authority (GPHA), the Ghana Railway Development Authority and the Volta Aluminium Company Limited would, among other things, ensure that the appropriate transport infrastructure that would anchor take-off of the industry was in place.

Speaking to the Ghanaian Times in Accra last Thursday, the Director, Programme Management and IT, Karen Asafu-Adjaye, said that GIADEC has a master plan which details what was expected to do to develop the aluminium industry in Ghana and under the master plan, all the existing businesses and how they would be expanded has been captured.

She explained that under the new master plan, the new mines and refineries that would be established had been defined and would be underpinned by a number of key pieces of infrastructure.

“So if we are talking about the master plan now we are going to have four mines producing up to 20 million tonnes of bauxite. Right now, we have one mine producing one million tonnes of bauxite and that is transported by road but if we get to a point where we are producing five or ten million, there is no way it is going to be possible to transport that by road, so we need the rail.

“If we are going to export more bauxite, then we need the port to be able to handle the capacity of bauxite that will be going out and if we know the rail will not be available for a certain number of years we need to also be working with roads to say right now it is one million but maybe we need to put 1.5million on the road for a short time,” she said.

MrsAsafu-Adjaye said each of the agencies in the working group was still responsible for delivering on their key mandates, stressing that “The Ministry of Railway Development has a railway master plan that they are working on, the GPHA also has its master plan that it is working on but when GIADEC came in, we felt that in order to deliver the IAI, we need to bring all these agencies together to make sure their plans align with our plans.”

For example, the railway master plan had a number of phases and two of those phases were to develop the western line and the eastern line. When we realised that their plan went only as far as Awaso, we engaged them to include from Awaso to Nyinahin into the plan as well as to bring it forward so that we know that it is their priority and we have rail all the way to Nyinahin where one of our mines will be, she said.

She said the working group was also involved in inter cross agency discussions to input into making sure that the right designs, right locations and the timing of when it will happen.

MrsAsafu-Adjaye noted that the volumes of activities being anticipated would imply that railway would constitute a key or the main means of transportation with the Western end of their operations requiring not less than 300kilometres of rail lines.

In this direction, she said lot of discussion had already taken place with the Ministry of Railway Development and the Railways Development Authority.

“Railway will be the main source of transportation for environmental and cost effectiveness as well as other factors,” she said.

She said the group was also to ensure that the timelines for the development of the entire necessary infrastructure were met and according to the timelines set out for the whole IAI.

BY CLIFF EKUFUL

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