Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC), has started the process that is expected to lead to the completion of a policy framework for the aluminum downstream industry in Ghana.
As part of the policy development process, GIADEC together with its partner, ODI (an independent global affairs think tank formally, the Overseas Development Institute), organised a two-day downstream aluminum industry workshop at the Royal Senchi hotel and resort from 29 to 30 March 2023.
The workshop according to GIADEC, is aimed at finetuning the downstream policy report which has been prepared by GIADEC and her partners such as VALCO, Ghana Bauxite Company Limited (GBCL), Rocksure International and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI).
Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, addressing participants at the opening ceremony of the 2-day downstream aluminum industry workshop
Addressing participants at the opening ceremony of the 2-day downstream aluminum industry workshop, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor noted that the lack of a clear-cut policy for both the upstream and downstream aluminum industry when the Akufo-Addo government assumed office was a rather sad situation which had to remedied.
“It is for this that in 2018, the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo took that bold decision by an Act of Parliament, Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC) to promote and develop an Integrated Aluminum Industry (IAI) here in our country.
“In accordance with its mandate, GIADEC in 2019 developed a master plan for the industry, which focused mainly on the upstream industry, that is, mining, refining, and smelting” Samuel Abu Jinapor said.
“This master plan led to the launch of a four-project agenda in September 2021 to expand the existing mine in Awaso and add a refinery, develop three additional mines in Nyinahin, Mpasaaso and Kyebi, together with refineries, and modernize and retrofit VALCO to smelt alumina produced in Ghana.
A cross-section of participants at the opening ceremony of the two-day workshop
“The implementation of this four-project agenda is expected to optimize and promote the upstream industry. Already, the Ghana Bauxite Company in Awaso, which is now wholly Ghanaian owned, has been revamped, and work is ongoing to increase production from 1.4 million tonnes per annum to 5 million tonnes per annum: Jinapor added.
But, developing an integrated industry according to the Lands and Natural Resource Minister, “does not stop at the upstream” which means that there is the “need to develop the downstream industry to ensure the entire value chain of the industry has adequate linkages to other sectors of the economy”.
“That is why we have gathered here today to discuss policy options and [develop] a plan that will ensure that our bauxite which we will convert to alumina and subsequently to aluminum will be converted to high value aluminum products such as cans, food packaging, vehicle components and building materials for both local and international consumption” Abu Jinapor noted.
Michael Ansah, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC) and a guest at the workshop
Developing an ecosystem
Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC), Michael Ansah, in his presentation on the GIADEC journey so far, noted that GIADEC is a strategic establishment that is committed to ensuring that the country reaps the full benefits of its huge bauxite deposits and other minerals.
He called on all the workshop participants to make available their expertise in the downstream aluminum industry during deliberations to ensure that Ghana can kick-start the sector fully.
“The Aluminum value-chain that we are talking about is going to be important in executing this and the downstream is really where we want to get to because that is what will drive industry, that is what will drive employment and that is what will drive transformation” Michael Ansah said.
“We are here today for this downstream industry workshop to promote IAI [Integrated Aluminium Industry] in this particular sense and for all of us to have a discussion around the kind of ecosystem we want to create to support this industry” he added.
A group photograph of all the participants at the workshop
Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) was established through an Act of Parliament in August 2018 to develop and promote a globally competitive Integrated Aluminium Industry (IAI) in Ghana.
GIADEC seeks to leverage Ghana’s existing bauxite reserves (900 million metric tonnes) and allied aluminium assets, including its interest in Ghana Bauxite Company Limited – GBC (20% equity) and Volta Aluminium Company Limited – VALCO (100% equity), to drive the full commercial exploitation of the country’s bauxite reserves, and add value through refining bauxite into alumina and smelting alumina to produce aluminium, whilst encouraging the development of downstream industries.
The development and full integration of the upstream aluminium industry as envisaged by GIADEC, consists of the execution of four (4) key projects which involve the expansion of two existing operations and the development of two additional ones through joint venture partnerships.
GIADEC’s vision for the downstream is to drive the utilisation of locally produced aluminium through import substitution and the development of markets across the continent, leveraging platforms such as the AfCFTA, and globally.