By Gifty Arthur
Ghana will in the next eighteen months boast of a grinding media plant to be located at the industrial city of Tema in the Greater Accra Region.
The plant which is being constructed by the South African steel products manufacturer Scaw Metals Group, seeks to significantly increase the company’s grinding media capacity on the African continent.
The project estimated to cost more than $40 million, is being put up in partnership with a South African company, the Guma Group and its Ghanaian counterpart, Jospong Group of Companies, mother company of waste management giant, Zoomlion.
The plant with an annual capacity of 50,000 metric tons, will offer significant employment opportunities to Ghanaians.
Scaw Metals Group, which according to The Herald’s sources, is worth $80 billion, is the largest producer of cast high chrome grinding media in the southern hemisphere and is the leading producer and supplier of high chrome and forged grinding balls, primarily to the African platinum, copper and gold mining industries.
At the ground breaking ceremony in Tema on Wednesday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Scaw Metals Group, Markus Hannemann, posited that “We are delighted that we will be opening a plant in Ghana and this is outbound investment for a South African entity.
Adding that “the Ghanaian Government has made a great push for the local construction industry, to stimulate economic growth and provide jobs”. The Scaw Metals Group already had presence in Ghana.
The company’s Ghanaian operation, was registered in 2011 as a regional sales office to serve the West African Region.
With offices in Tema, Scaw Ghana functions as a local point of contact for all of the Scaw Metals Group’s products, manufactured in South Africa.
“From our experience in Ghana thus far, we are certain that we will be able to fully utilize the vast potential in the region.The skills development we will be providing for the employees of the plant will make sure that our plant will have world-class standards and have a significant knock-on effect in the local community,” Hannemann noted.
The consortium, which holds 30 percent of the entity, will be given first preference to supply products and services during construction and thereafter.
“We are looking forward to the partnership with the Scaw Metals Group and supplying the region will grow the business.
Speaking on behalf of the President, John Mahama, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mawuena Trebarh, reiterated government’s full commitment to private sector investment to “support not only their commercial interest, but also to ensure that it arrives at concurrent development for both countries.
“Many of the bilateral meetings that you would have heard about, and many of the MoU’s signed by various Ministers of State between the two countries, only reinforce the commitment to support more and more investors within the two countries”.
She further assured the companies involved that GIPC under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, are in total support of the venture and promised government’s unflinching support for the project.
Mrs. Trebah, was hopeful that the establishment of the plant will go a long way to open other doors for other entrepreneurs to develop interest in engaging in profitable ventures such as this.
“I have a very firm believe that this investment can only result in more and more opportunities to collaborate. I am especially delighted that they have chosen to initiate in a sector that we are very keen to support.
“Indeed, Ghana has a very long history of mining and it is important that we continue to add value across the entire commercial chain.
And so as we continue to make investment, let me assure you once again, both group of companies that the Investment Promotion Centre with support from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and indeed, from the Office of the President that oversees all investment into the country, you are assured of our full and unflinching support as you consider more and more investment opportunities”, she said.
The South African Minister for Trade and Industry Rob Davies expressed excitement for the establishment of the plant, which he believes is “going to
bring value addition to Ghana”.
He said, the $40 million being pumped into the project adds to a total of $6.2 Billion that has already been invested into Ghana, between 2003 and April 2013, a growing investment relationship he applauded and promised the two countries will continue to promote.
Whiles encouraging South African companies to invest in Ghana, Mr. Davies urged Ghanaian companies like Jospong Group of Companies to endevour to aim at establishing their businesses in South Africa as opportunities exist for them.
Chairman of Jospong Group of Companies, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong, thanked President Mahama for creating the enabling environment for entrepreneurs to come together to initiate a projects such as theirs and reiterated the need for Ghanaian businessmen to also find their way into the South African
He noted that his outfit which is on record to have created employment for millions of Ghanaians is committed to working even harder to support government reduce the unemployment rate in the country.
The Executive Chairman of GUMA Group, Mr. Robert Gumede, was particularly excited about their partnership with Jospong Group of Companies and assured that “it is just the beginning” of good things to come.