GHACEM, a cement manufacturer, is set to construct a 1.5-million-tonne capacity cement production plant in Kumasi to serve the Ashanti Region and its surrounding areas.
Speaking in an interview with the media, Managing Director of GHACEM, Stefano Gallini, said the new project had become necessary due to the growing demand for cement in that part of the country.
Additionally, the Tema and Takoradi factories will be expanded to improve efficiency and timely delivery of products.
Mr Gallini said “the Ghanaian construction sector growth is the driving force behind this agenda and our Ghanaian customers are at the centre of this.”
“We want to continue taking care of the Ghanaian market and as you may be aware, there has been an exponential growth in commercial activities in which GHACEM has been involved, and we want to continue with our contribution for the nation’s development in this regard,” he said.
The new plant will produce about 1.5 million tonnes of cement per annum to serve the Ashanti Region, together with future plans of exporting to Burkina Faso and other neighbouring countries.
The $100 million investment by the company is expected to increase employment opportunities for the cement industry, as many more projects are being undertaken.
Commenting on prices of cement products, the Managing Director explained that the company would adjust the price of its cement products if the cost of raw materials and freight witnessed a reduction in the coming weeks.
He indicated that the recent hike in cement prices was as a result of the high costs incurred during production and increasing freight costs.
“We have been exposed to rising costs of raw materials, freight and other components in the production of our cement products for the past seven to eight months, such that we have to take care of it in order not to pass it over to the consumer, looking at the economic situation. However, we commit to adjusting the price downwards if the cost of freight is reduced. For us, other raw materials can be sourced at lower prices,” he noted.
He further assured that engagements are ongoing with the Ghana Port and Harbours Authority to address some concerns with port handling charges, which also add on to the cost of production of the company.
Mr Gallini explained that about 99.5 per cent of GHACEM employees are Ghanaian, and this goes a long way to benefit the country.
GHACEM pays taxes to support the Ghanaian economy, and also reinvests some of her profits to various causes in Ghana.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE