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Ghana: GOIL set to target the West African bitumen market

GOIL PLC is preparing to make its mark in the West African bitumen market by launching cutting-edge products, notably polymer-modified bitumen (PMB) and bitumen emulsion. This initiative is in line with the company’s continuous diversification strategy.

The US$45million project is a joint-venture between GOIL PLC and Société Multinationale de Bitumes (SMB) from Côte d’Ivoire.

The Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of GOIL PLC,  Kwame Osei-Prempeh emphasized the current focus on fulfilling the demands of the local market as a top priority.

Currently, the leading oil and gas marketing company operates from a shared depot with SMB -importing bitumen from Côte d’Ivoire and subsequently processing it into bitumen emulsion and PMB. However, its ultimate goal, Osei-Prempeh noted, is to establish GOIL’s own bitumen processing facility similar to SMB’s.

“Our long-term vision involves constructing a plant right here in Ghana, capable of manufacturing bitumen. This strategic move will position us as direct competitors in the West African market, where SMB currently holds a dominant position. Notably, SMB lacks the capability of producing PMB and Emulsion, which gives us a unique edge,” Mr. Osei-Prempeh stated.

“If you’ve had the opportunity to visit our site, you may have noticed that we’ve designed it with expansion in mind. As we continue making strides in our journey, we anticipate that in the very near-future we will be able to extend our reach and serve neighbouring countries as well,” he added.

The facility boasts an annual capacity of around 7,500 to 8,000 metric tonnes for both polymer-modified bitumen and bitumen emulsion.

“Some of the contractors who purchased our products have testified that it is among the best globally. Therefore, if we can capture the Ghanaian market and generate more revenue, we will have the opportunity to expand into other West African markets,” he emphasized.

Head of Technical Services, Alphonso Okai Jnr. emphasized the objective of establishing a strong presence in the West African bitumen market primarily through the PMB product.

Polymer-modified bitumen (PMB) is a method of enhancing bitumen by incorporating polymers, and GOIL employs the styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) polymer in its PMB production.

This particular polymer has shown its effectiveness in addressing the key pavement concerns, which include permanent deformation (rutting), fatigue cracking, and low-temperature cracking.

“The game-changer in this industry is the polymer-modified bitumen. That’s what we will be introducing to the market. PMB possesses resilience and long-lasting features capable of sustaining and preserving our roads for longer period”. “We therefore expect to produce enough quantities of PMB to meet demands of the road construction industry and serve as an export commodity to neighbouring countries, especially within the West African sub-region” Okai Jnr said.

Côte d’Ivoire is the main producer and supplier of bitumen to countries in the sub-region, including Ghana, Nigeria and Togo.

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