A ground breaking ceremony has been performed for the construction of the first-ever bitumen plant in Tema, in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana.

The country’s Energy Minister John-Peter Amewu performed the ground breaking ceremony with the assistance of officials of GOIL Company Limited and its Ivorian partners, SMB.

In a speech delivered by Mr John-Peter Amewu, on behalf of President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, he assured Ghanaians that the government would deliver major roads that are more robust and could stand the weather conditions of the country.

According to the President, this is in furtherance of government’s massive road construction programme in 2019 and 2020.

The $35 million joint venture between GOIL and Ivoire’s Societe Multinationale de Bitumes (SMB) of La Cote D’Ivoire would be completed in two years and involves the construction of a bitumen plant for storage of raw bitumen.

The plant would be milling raw bitumen and polymers to produce PMB and bitumen emulsions.

President Akufo-Addo noted the increasing demand for bitumen paved roads in Ghana, indicating that the Ministry of Roads and Highways intend to rehabilitate and construct several thousands of kilometres of highways and urban with Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB), a bold attempt at improving the lifespan of our roads.

“Our promise to provide quality road infrastructure for the people of Ghana is continuous and unrelenting until the people receive good transport infrastructure and service. Due to the success of the PMB, which is proven to give a longer life span to asphalted roads, the Ghana Highways Authority also plans to continue using it for all major highways resurfacing or construction in the country”, he emphasised.

He congratulated GOIL and SMB for the venture, which, he said, was a classic example of the potential cooperation in development worthy of emulation in the ECOWAS sub-region

The Acting Managing Director and Group CEO of GOIL, Mr. Kwame Osei-Prempeh, explained that the partnership with SMB dates as far back as 2003 when GOIL decided to market bitumen.

The objective was to play a major role in the construction of roads through the supply of bitumen which, at the time, was dominated mainly by multinationals.

He acknowledged the yeoman’s role played by his predecessor, Mr. Patrick A.K. Akorli, for the foresight and determination that has brought the dream to fruition.
He equally acknowledged the great work by Nana Yaw Owusu, Otumfuo’s Mpaboahene and representative of SMB, as well as the GOIL team, for the patriotic vision for Ghana.

The Managing Director of SMB, Mr. Mamadou Doumbia of La Cote D’Ivoire, acknowledged that Ghana has been the company’s main and proud customer, supplying the country of about 80% of the bitumen requirement.
He promised that the project would further cement the economic cooperation between Ghana and Cote D’ Ivoire.

By: Michael Creg Afful

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