Goil has entered into a joint venture with Societe Multinationale de Bitumes (SMB) of Cote d’Ivoire to construct a $35 million bitumen plant in Tema.
The plant, which has the capacity to produce 8,000 tonnes of Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB) and Bitumen Emulsion, is expected to be completed in two years.
Presently, no oil marketing company in Ghana supplies PMB for road construction and most major road contractors import the product in bitumen containers from abroad, particularly from Cote d’Ivoire, which has been supplying 80 per cent of Ghana’s bitumen requirement.
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Cutting the sod to commence the construction, the Minister of Energy, Mr John Peter Amewu, lauded GOIL for its strategic decision to become a major player in the bitumen market as a producer of the best quality PMB for the country.
He underscored the government’s determination to deliver major roads that were durable, robust and could withstand all weather conditions.
He commended GOIL and SMB for the bold and innovative initiative and noted that it was a classic example of cooperation in development worthy of emulation in the sub-region.
The acting Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GOIL, Mr Kwame Osei Prempeh, said the company’s entry into the bitumen market was part of a strategy to widen its portfolio and consolidate gains already made in the fuel business.
He thanked the government for creating the conducive environment for the growth of the petroleum sector and lauded the outgoing Managing Director, Mr Patrick Akorli, for his foresight and determination which had resulted in the project.
He also commended the Otumfuo’s Mpaboahene, Nana Yaw Owusu, who is also a representative of SMB, for his facilitator role.
Enhance business relation
The Managing Director of SMB of Cote d’Ivoire, Mr Mamadou Doumbia, was elated that the project had come to fruition, noting that it would ultimately enhance peaceful business relations between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
In attendance were representatives of SMB, the Ghana Highway Authority, the National Petroleum Authority and other stakeholders.
The high cost of road construction in Ghana, estimated at GH¢1 million per kilometre of asphalt road, is mainly attributed to the unavailability of bitumen in Ghana.
GOIL and its partners believe that the local production of bitumen will help reduce the cost of the raw material and road construction significantly.