The leading oil marketing company in Ghana, GOIL and partner, Ivoire’s Societe Multinationale de Bitumes (SMB) of La Cote D’Ivoire have cut sod for the construction of a bitumen plant in Tema.
The project which is estimated to cost $35 MILLION will be completed in two years and involves the construction of a Bitumen Plant for storage of raw bitumen. The plant will be milling raw bitumen and polymers to produce PMB and Bitumen Emulsions.
President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu said government is committed to provide quality road infrastructure for the people of Ghana as well as deliver major roads that are more robust and can stand the weather conditions of the country.
Peter Amewu revealed that the Ministry of Roads and Highways intends to rehabilitate and construct several thousands of kilometers of highways and urban roads with Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB), a bold attempt at improving the lifespan of Ghana’s roads.
"Demands for the bitumen paved roads in Ghana keep growing and the Ministry of Roads and Highways intends to rehabilitate and construct a thousand kilometers of urban roads across the country. With the introduction of this product in Ghana which is a very bold step of improving the lifespan of our roads, our promise and concern is that Ghana will become a shining example in infrastructure development," he stated.
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, Kwame Osei-Prempeh said GOIL’s 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.
"Goil is today taking a bold step and we believe, that it will impact positively on the road construction industries in Ghana. We are aware that many of our roads country wide need to be constructed or reconstructed. Recent Ghana Highway Authority figures indicate that, the country requires about 384,000 metrics tons of bitumen over the next four years."
He added that GOIL’s entry into the bitumen market is part of the company’s strategy to widen its portfolio and consolidate gains already made in the fuel business.
"GOIL is no longer only going to sell petrol and diesel. Already, apart from our retail business in gasoline, gas oil and lubricants, GOIL also supplies aviation fuel," he revealed.
He praised his predecessor, Patrick Akorli, for the foresight and determination that has brought the dream to fruition.
The Managing Director of SMB, 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.