Ghana: GHACEM urged to source local raw materials

Ghana: GHACEM urged to source local raw materials
Published: 19 December 2013

Tagged Under: Ghana GHACEM 

GHACEM which produces about 60,000t of cement every week sources just about 25 per cent of its raw materials in Ghana, but the government has targeted the producer to source 50 per cent of its raw material locally.

Strategic and Corporate affairs manager of GHACEM, Dr George Dawson Amoah, told Citi Business News, this could be a daunting task as the major problem is the availability of the raw material in Ghana.

“The raw materials; the major part is the clinker which is imported. I share the concern of the minister that we should move beyond the 25 per cent raw material, but where is it available? Show us any deposit of limestone with appreciable quantity and quality, and we will go in for clinker production.”

“We have been searching but do not have. What we have now is what we are using as filler, which is about 25 per cent and so we are still searching, if you find any let me know,” he added.

Deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson, disagrees: “I think you have to go beyond 50 per cent. We think the raw materials are here. In as much as we produce cement here in this country, I strongly feel that if the raw materials are here and they are competitive, we should tap into them, so we can give true meaning to local content so that our local owners of raw materials can also benefit from them.”

Meanwhile, Gharcem is asking the government to investigate the price of imported cement as they are too competitive the producer argues.

“We need to look seriously into the importation of cement. Come to think of whether the requisite duties and other levies are paid. When all these are done and standards of the cement imported are upheld. When all these parameters are okay, we have no problem, then we compete on equal level, but we really abhor, and really strongly advocate against unfair practices,” he said.

According to him, “it is an allegation we have put in so far that we have put a petitioned the tariff advisory board. We have been in the business for a very long time and we import raw materials and we know what shipping transactions are all about and we know what pertains in the international market.”

Dr Amoah insisted that his outfit is “highly suspicious when it comes to the importation of bagged cement into the country and looking at the retail prices that they are offering with some even lower than what we have here, we smell a rat.”

Ghana's government holds about a five per cent stake in GHACEM.