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Business News of Thursday, 27 August 2020


GIADEC set to revamp VALCO in 5 years with inauguration of new board

Newly sworn-in members of the VALCO board in a group photo with Lands Minister(middle) Newly sworn-in members of the VALCO board in a group photo with Lands Minister(middle)

The Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation(GIADEC) has deployed a five-year recovery plan to revamp the ailing Volta Aluminium Company(VALCO).

At a brief ceremony to swear-in new members of the VALCO Board by Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, CEO of GIADEC Michael Ansah disclosed that modifications to restore the smelter will take about three to five years.

He explained that it will be done in two phases to enable the aluminuim smelter produce first, at its full capacity of 200,000 tonnes per annum, and a further 100,000 after 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,” Mr Ansah noted.

The Volta Alumiumium Company limited (Valco) established in 1967 with the aim of adding value to Ghana's bauxite deposits is currently on its knees as only two out of its ten production lines are running at extremely low levels. The company is currently a subsidiary of GIADEC.

The GIADEC boss added that, "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'. The ultimate aim is to make VALCO a viable anchor of Ghana's Integrated Aluminium Industry.”

Ghana currently has entered into a $2 billion proceeds from bauxite for infrastructure agreement with Asian giant Sinohydro company. The deal is to see the Chinese company finance much of Government's capital projects with Ghana paying back the cost with proceeds from its sale of refined bauxite amid concerns from environmentalist and critics.

However, the CEO of GIADEC insists the objective of the deal is to use 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 intimated.

Minister for Lands and Natural resources Kwaku Asomah Kyeremeh inaugurated a six-member board to steer the affairs of the Volta Aluminium Company(VALCO) and drive the new vision of the company on Wednesday, August 26, 2020.

Members included Dr Henry Benyah, Board Chair, and Mr Daniel Acheampong, Dr. Gloria Naa Dzama Addico, Hon. Samuel Evans Ashong Narh, Mr Seth Adjete Adjei, And Mr Michael Ansah as members.

At the ceremony the minister said despite the challenges, VALCO remains a strategic Ghanaian asset that is considered a major corner stone of the integrated industry in Ghana. He charged the newly sworn members to work hard to transform the phase of the company.

Board chairman of VALCO Dr. Henry Benyah said their appointment marks the beginning new things to come.