STX, the South Korean company which is to undertake a 200,000-unit housing project in Ghana, is making another huge foray into the housing sector with a plan to set up a cement factory to complement its real estate investment, estimated to cost US$10bn over a five-year period.
Albert Abongo, Ghana’s Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) here over the weekend after returning from Seoul where he led a government delegation to seal the housing deal with the South Korean conglomerate.
STX Engineering and Construction Ghana Limited, a Ghanaian joint-venture subsidiary of the South Korean company, is to build 200,000 affordable housing units and 300 executive-type buildings over a five year period, starting in April 2010.
The project will deliver 40,000 units each year for a period of five years and help reduce by a fifth Ghana’s national housing deficit estimated at one million units.
Abongo described the visit to Seoul as highly successful as it reflected a growing international opinion that Ghana was ready for development in view of its sterling democratic credentials.
He added that in order to ensure proper appraisal of the company, the delegation, which included Members of Parliament across the political divide, and top executives in the private sector, visited STX’s on-going interests in South Korea and Abu Dhabi.
He said the South Korean side was to visit Ghana within a few days to finalise talks on the building designs and the handing over of lands on which the projects are to be sited.
Abongo said the government intended to buy some of the units for personnel of the security agencies so as to solve their perennial housing problems. The rest of the housing estates would be sold to patrons in both the private and public sectors.
As for the proposed cement factory, Abongo said the government would supply geodetic data to the company to enable it to determine the type of clinker deposits it might wish to use for the manufacturing of the cement.
David Assuming, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee of Water Resources, Works and Housing, expressed delight with the genuineness of the South Koreans to assist Ghana overcome some of its development challenges.
He said it was incumbent on all parties, regardless of their political affiliations, to lend support to the project to ensure that the people fully benefited from it. His sentiments were shared by Abena Dapaah, a ranking member of the committee, who described the deal as a good one in solving the housing shortages that the nation continued to experience.
Available information indicates that STX, which has interests in heavy industry, construction, energy and ship-building, has 23 billion dollars in assets as at the middle of 2008.