Business News of 2014-07-07

GHACEM still producing, despite cement shortage

GHACEM Limited has responded to the debate over the scarcity of cement on the Ghanaian market and refuted speculations that the company has reduced production. The company described as wrong, the notion that it has contributed to the scarcity by producing below expectation.

On the contrary, the company insisted it currently produces an average of about 58,000 tonnes of cement a week, a feat it described as commendable. In an interview with the company’s Strategy and Corporate Affairs Director, Dr. George Dawson-Ahmoah, he said GHACEM was currently facing two challenges in attempts to arrest the shortage.

It identified the first as erratic power outages affecting production especially at the Takoradi factory of the company, and the second as “the current pressure on the market.” He observed that “for one reason or the other, other cement manufacturers and importers of cement cannot meet the demand in supply” due to the depreciation of the cedi."

This, he said, has caused importers to refuse selling their products, with the congestion at the port in Togo also hindering the operations of Diamond Cement, Aflao, which imported its raw materials from that country.

Dr. Dawson said the aforementioned challenges have “pushed pressure” onto GHACEM because an average of about 40,000 tonnes of cement expected from other local manufacturers and the importers are now missing in the market “Now the pressure is on us to meet this huge shortfall in production,” he noted, calling for immediate action to address country’s electricity challenges and the depreciation of the cedi.

Ghacem he reiterated has the capacity, technical expertise, raw material and the ability to meet the country’s increasing demand for quality cement hence Government should do its part especially improving power supply in the Takoradi Factory.