President Nana Addo-Danquah Akufo-Addo has lauded GOIL for venturing into the local production of bitumen to end Ghana’s dependence on foreign sourcing.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Energy, Mr. Peter Amewu, the President said, “No Oil Marketing Company (OMC) in Ghana, today, supplies PMB for road construction. Most major road contractors import the product in bitumen containers from abroad. It is therefore remarkable that GOIL has taken the initiative in conjunction with Société Multinational de Butimes (SMB) to construct a Bitumen Plant for storage of raw bitumen.”
The President said this on Thursday at the Tema Industrial Area where the sod was cut for the construction of a bitumen depot and a Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB) plant to begin the production of bitumen.
The President congratulated GOIL and SMB for the bold initiative which, he said, was a classical example of the potential cooperation in development worthy of emulation in the ECOWAS sub-region.
The President lauded the efforts of Ghanaian industrial trailblazers, toasting GOIL, with Ghana Government being the majority shareholder, for competing with multinationals in the oil industry, and even excelling.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that presently, the company was the leading OMCs in Ghana, proving that Ghanaians could achieve greater success “when they put it in their minds to pursue something more than that of multinational companies, thus bringing into fruition the country’s vision of Ghana Beyond Aid.”
The President hinted on GOIL’s objective of being the major supplier of bitumen and producer of the best quality PMB for the country, thereby reducing the importation of PMB into the country.
“Government will in this regard support any effort of GOIL in helping Government deliver good, quality and durable roads,” the President said.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SMB, Mr. Mahamadou Dumbia, in an address, informed of the joy of his company to partner with Ghana in the production of bitumen, observing that the objective “was to enhance peaceful business relations with our sister country Ghana and put together South to South bilateral Co-operation.”
The Acting Managing Director of GOIL Company, Mr. Kwame Osei-Prempeh, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after the ceremony, recounted that in 2003, GOIL decided to enter the bitumen market, an area which was dominated by multinationals.
The Acting MD informed that they had awarded the contract worth 35 million dollars to ORSAM Limited, a steel framework contractor for the construction of the facilities, “And we believe that in two years’ time, we would have a bitumen depot and a PMB plant in Ghana, so that Ghana will not import such products.”
He informed that the collaboration with SMB was in the production of bitumen which would then be used as a raw material to produce PMB.
Mr. Osei-Prempeh assessed the viability of the venture by saying, “Ghana Highway Authority has assured us that over the past four years, they needed 480,000 metric tonnes of bitumen and PMB for Ghanaian roads. We believe that this is a giant step which would help us contribute enormously to the road sector which would make road construction cheaper; instead of importing, we would have the materials right here in Tema.”