The Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC) has deployed a five-year recovery plan to revitalize the crippling Volta Aluminium Company ( VALCO).
GIADEC says it intends to retrofit the ailing aluminuim smelter to get it back on its feet within the shortest possible time
This was made known at a swearing-in ceremony of the new VALCO Board by Minster for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Kwaku Asomah Kyeremeh, on Tuesday.
Chief Executive Officer of GIADEC, Michael Ansah, who announced this, further detailed that retrofitting the plant will take between three to five years and will be done in two phases with the first phase being VALCO producing at full capacity of 200,000 tonnes per annum and second phase to produce at 100,000 tonnes after the retrofit.
"The first phase will deliver 170,000 tonnes while the second phase will produce 120,000 tonnes, adding that the first will begin as soon as strategic partners are selected, hopefully by the end of the year...initial part of the recovery plan is to arrest the situation in the business now, make sure that it is standing on firm grounds that the current operations can run through the current difficulties before driving the retrofit'', he said during the event.
Mounting Concerns Over Bauxite Exploitation
Ghana has currently entered into a $2 billion bauxite infrastructure agreement deal with Asian giant, Sinohydro company.
According to the GIADEC CEO, the deal is aimed at exploiting bauxite to develop the nation.
"We've had bauxite since this country has existed. We have close to a billion tonnes of bauxite. We've not exploited this fully. We have only one mine in Awaso today. We are looking at exploiting the full resource that we have in Nyihahin today and kyebi as well and this would give us the beginnings of a mining industry that can support a viable refinery that would feed the smelter that we have", he stated.
The Chinese company is to financially support government's capital projects with the country paying back the cost from the sale of the refined bauxite.
The Volta Alumiumium Company limited (VALCO) was established in 1967 to add value to Ghana's bauxite deposits.
The company is currently a subsidiary of GIADEC but it's on its knees as only two out of its ten production lines are operating and running at extremely low levels.
Inauguration of VALCO Board
Minister for lands and Natural resources, Kwaku Asomah Kyeremeh inaugurated the six member board to steer the affairs of the Volta Aluminum Company to drive the new vision of the company.
The members included Dr. Henry Benyah as Board Chair and Mr. Daniel Acheampong, Dr. Gloria Naa Dzama Addico, Hon. Samuel Evans Ashong Narh, Mr. Seth Adjete Adjei and Mr. Michael Ansah.
At the ceremony, the Minister charged the newly sworn members to work hard to transform the company.
''Despite the challenges, VALCO remains a strategic Ghanaian asset that is considered a major corner stone of the integrated industry in Ghana'', Hon. Kyeremeh said.
On behalf of the Board, the Chairman, Dr. Henry Benyah expressed readiness to execute their duties; adding that their appointment marks the beginning of new things.