Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources has reiterated government’s commitment to modernize and expand the Volta Aluminium Company’s (VALCO) Smelter Plant in Tema.
Mr Jinapor said this when he paid a working visit to the plant to familiarise with its current state and discuss the revamping plans with the VALCO Board and Management.
He said after the meeting, the master plan would be put before Cabinet for approval, after which the needed investors would be sought to ensure that the plant received the retrofitting, retooling, and revamping.
He said VALCO’s expansion is number four, under the government’s Integrated Aluminium Industry (IAI) drive, which was being handled by the Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) under the Ministry.
The other three projects are the expansion of the Awaso Mine and the establishment of a refinery; development of a mine and establishment of a refinery at Nyinahin; and the development of mines at Kyebi.
He indicated that the Ministry was fully committed to fulfilling the vision of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to revamp industrial activities in the country, which would improve the economy and provide the needed jobs for the people.
Mr Michael Ansah, Chief Executive Officer of GIADEC, briefing the Minister on the operations of VALCO, which is its subsidiary, said the government recently injected three million cedis into the operation of the aluminium company to stabilize its operations.
Mr Ansah added that his outfit, through the sector ministry, was seeking to attract 600 million dollars into retrofitting and modernizing the entire plant, as it was at the core of the government’s plan to develop an Integrated Aluminium Industry.
He said the Smelter’s current annual production of 50,000 tonnes would be increased to 300,000 tonnes per annum.
He said currently, the cost of operation of the Company was not competitive compared to global trends, adding that, its expansion would position Ghana to be a driver in the aluminium industry as there was a deficit in the supply of aluminium worldwide since China and other countries were demanding more.
The Minister, together with his team, as part of the visit, toured the carbon plant, cell lines/control, cast house, dock, maintenance shop and technical areas of the plant.
VALCO which was established in 1967 was acquired by the government in 2008. It became a subsidiary of GIADEC when the government handed over its 100 per cent shares to it, as part of its mandate, under the Integrated Aluminium Industry.