The Volta Aluminium Company Limited (VALCO) has said it is hopeful of locating a Strategic Investor before the end of 2023.
This follows the approval by the Cabinet of Ghana for VALCO and the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) – the entity holding VALCO’s shares on behalf of the Government of Ghana – to go to the market to identify and engage a Strategic Partner towards the retrofit (modernization) of the Smelter to bring to it to world-class standard in terms of technology, operating efficiencies and costs, profitability, among other benefits.
The chairman of VALCO, Dr Henry Benyah, announced this at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Accra.
While presenting the state of affairs of the company, on VALCO’s performance for the year 2022, Dr Benyah intimated that Transaction Advisors have been engaged “to manage the process of the search and selection of a strategic partner with the requisite technical capacity to deploy the most competitive smelter technology, backed by the needed investments and strategic global linkages in consideration for an agreed equity stake in a restructured VALCO”.
The company has experienced relatively stable operations for the past two years as is buttressed by the results for 2021 and 2022.
In comparison to its performance over the past decade, VALCO recorded its best-ever performance in 2022, second only to the results of 2021, posting an adjusted EBITDA positive return of US$5.39 million.
Reporting on the operational performance of the company, the chief executive officer, Dan Acheampong was very pleased to note that VALCO has come a long way from where it faced huge existential challenges, where the future of the smelter was threatened, to a relatively stable and productive business, in readiness for the expected massive take off with the sourcing of a strategic investor.
Acheampong told the meeting that notwithstanding improvements in performance in the last three years, the company was not out of the woods yet.
However, Team VALCO, he continued, was committed to working in line with its principle of “continuous improvement,” leaving no stone unturned and has been building upon these improved performances to bolster confidence in the company’s ability to become a world-class smelter.
The company hopes to leverage its successes in the last three years regarding operational stability to lay a firm foundation for 2023 and beyond.
This is in line with the objectives outlined in its five year Strategic/Recovery Plan (2020-2024) which places emphasis on maintaining operational stability as it transitions to the “Retrofitted VALCO” to assure a sustainable turnaround.
The company said it has identified some product-value maximisation and a host of cost-reduction initiatives to make the operation sustainable in the short term while working to implement the final phase of the recovery plan.
This is in consonance with the VALCO Modernisation Project dubbed Project 4 under GIADEC’s Integrated Aluminium Industry (IAI) Project Masterplan currently under execution.
In the coming year, VALCO emphasizes that it will position itself firmly in the aluminium downstream segment of the Aluminium value chain. This it hopes to do by way of entering into joint ventures (some of which are currently in the developmental stages) or direct participation in the high-end value-addition downstream segment of the Aluminium value chain.
The company believes that incorporating downstream activities into its operations like all globally competitive smelters have done, would make its operations more viable.
VALCO also recognizes the fact that the future of aluminium is “green”. It is therefore, positioning itself through various environmentally-friendly initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint in order to take its pride of place as a net carbon emitter and a “Green Aluminium” Smelter.
VALCO is grateful to the government, the board, management and staff, Volta River Authority, GRIDCo and indeed, all Ghanaians for helping to keep it alive to this point of take-off. VALCO continues to ask for the support of all stakeholders as it strives to anchor the destiny-changing Integrated Aluminium Industry Project currently under execution.
As it continues to re-position its activities to continue to become a major player in the industrialization and value-adding anchor of the industry which we all believe will make Ghana the hub of industrialisation in West Africa, we ask for the support of all to make this dream a reality.
Volta Aluminium Company Limited (VALCO) is a limited liability company (Aluminium Smelter) wholly owned by the State through the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC).