Business News of 2014-07-09

GHACEM reacts to cement shortage

GHACEM Limited has responded to the shortage of cement on the 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 somewhat commendable given the status quo.
In an interview with the company’s Strategy and Corporate Affairs Director, Dr. George Dawson-Ahmoah, he said GHACEM is currently bedevilled by two challenges in meeting 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”.
Explaining, he observed that “for one reason or another, other cement manufacturers and importers of cement cannot meet the demand in supply” due to depreciation of the cedi. This, he said, has goaded the importers into refusing to sell their products -- with the congestion at the port in Togo also hindering the operations of Diamond Cement, Aflao, which imports 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 the country’s electricity challenges and the cedi’s depreciation.
Ghacem, he reiterated, has the capacity, technical expertise, raw materials and ability to meet the country’s increasing demand for quality cement: “Hence Government should do their part, especially improving power supply in the Takoradi factory; because as a company we are committed to delivering for utmost satisfaction”.