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GIADEC steps up efforts to complete downstream aluminium industry policy

The Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) has started the process that is expected to lead to the completion of a policy framework for the downstream aluminium industry in Ghana.

As part of the policy development process, GIADEC together with its partner, ODI (an independent global affairs think tank, formerly known as the Overseas Development Institute), organised a two-day downstream aluminium industry workshop at the Royal Senchi hotel and resort from 29 to 30 March 2023.

GIADEC says the workshop 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 of Lands and Natural Resources, addresses participants at the opening ceremony for the two-day downstream aluminium industry workshop

Promoting IAI
Addressing participants at the opening ceremony of the two-day downstream aluminium industry workshop, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, noted that the lack of a clear-cut policy for both the upstream and downstream aluminium 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,” 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 modernise and retrofit VALCO to smelt alumina produced in Ghana.

“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.

Downstream industry
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 said.

Developing an ecosystem
The chief executive officer of the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC), Michael Ansah, in his presentation on the journey so far, said 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 aluminium industry during deliberations to ensure that Ghana can kick-start the sector fully.

“The aluminium 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,” 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.

The 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 Ltd (GBC: 20% equity) and Volta Aluminium Company Ltd (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 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.

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