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Business News of Monday, 27 September 2021

Source: ghanaiantimes.com

CSIR-BRRI needs US$4 million to revamp abandoned Pozzolana cement factory

Chairman of the Committee on Environment, Emmanuel Marfo Chairman of the Committee on Environment, Emmanuel Marfo

The Pozzolana cement factory established by the Building and Road Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-BRRI) at Gomoa Mprumem in the Central Region, has been abandoned.

This is because no private enterprise is prepared to invest in the production of the cement in partnership with the CSIR-BRRI for commercial production for local patronage.

The director said these at a meeting of a 13-member Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Science, and Technology during a visit to the CSIR-BRRI, the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (CSIR-FORIG), and the Crop Research Institute (CSIR-CRI) all under the CSIR at Fumesua, near Kumasi.

the CSIR-BRRI, Dr. Daniel Asenso-Gyembibi, said $4 million was currently needed to revamp the factory to production capacity in the wake of recent cement price hikes.

He said the Institute pumped GH¢1.5 million into it from internally generated funds to revive it, but that had gone down the drain, and we could not spend money always to revamp the factory when there was no one to invest for commercial production.

He said the Pozzolana cement had the added advantage of cutting down on carbon dioxide emission and helping to promote climate-friendly construction, and has the capacity to create hundreds of jobs and enhance safety in the building industry.

But, the Chairman of the Select Committee, Dr. Emmanuel Marfo, said CSIR-BRRI needed to bring a statement on Pozzolana to Parliament for a debate to influence policy decisions in its promotion and preference.

He said there was the need to bridge the communication gap between policy and science to demonstrate its relevance in solving the socio-economic problems to the political leadership or those who control the public purse.

Dr. Marfo, also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Oforikrom, said the 16 agencies under the CSIR could be doing some great work but perhaps were unable to properly communicate their relevance to attract the necessary support.

“Show government that you are relevant, especially in the area of climate change,” he intoned.

The Deputy Director-General of the CSRI, Prof. Paul Bosu, expressed the hope that the visit by the committee would broaden the discussion on how scientific research could be financed.

He said with the understanding of how science works, the MPs would champion the financing of scientific research for national development.

Commercial production of the local brand of cement began in March 2011 with a plant capacity of about 5,000 bags per day, but a few months afterward, the factory seized operation for poor patronage of its products and lack of investments.