President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured Ghanaians that the Government will deliver major roads that are more robust and can stand the weather conditions of the country.
This, he noted, is in furtherance of government’s massive road construction program in 2019 and 2020.
The President’s comments were contained in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu, at the sod cutting ceremony to mark the beginning of the GOIL/SMB Bitumen project in Tema.
The $35 million joint venture between GOIL and Ivoire’s Societe Multinationale de Bitumes (SMB) of La Cote D’Ivoire will be completed in two years and involves the construction of a Bitumen Plant for storage of raw bitumen. The plant will be milling raw bitumen and polymers to produce PMB and Bitumen Emulsions.
Mr Amewu noted the increasing demand for bitumen paved roads in Ghana indicating the Ministry of Roads and Highways intends to rehabilitate and construct several thousands of kilometres of highways and urban with Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB), a bold attempt at improving the lifespan of our roads.
“Our promise to provide quality road infrastructure for the people of Ghana is continuous and unrelenting until the people receive good transport infrastructure and service. Due to the success of the PMB, which is proven to give a longer life span to asphalted roads, the Ghana Highways Authority also plans to continue using it for all major highways resurfacing or construction in the country”, he emphasized.
He congratulated GOIL and SMB for the venture, which he said, was a classic example of the potential cooperation in development worthy of emulation in the ECOWAS sub-region
The Acting Managing Director and Group CEO of GOIL, Mr. Kwame Osei-Prempeh explained that the partnership with SMB dates as far back as 2003 when GOIL decided to market Bitumen. The objective was to play a major role in the construction of roads through the supply of bitumen which at the time was dominated mainly by multinationals.
He acknowledged the yeoman’s role played by his predecessor, Mr. Patrick A.K. Akorli, for the foresight and determination that has brought the dream to fruition. He equally acknowledged the great work by Nana Yaw Owusu, Otumfuo’s Mpaboahene and representative of SMB as well as the GOIL team for the patriotic vision for Ghana.
The Managing Director of SMB, Mr. Mamadou Doumbia of La Cote D’Ivoire acknowledged that Ghana has been the company’s main and proud customer, supplying the country of about 80% of the bitumen requirement. He promised the project will further cement economic cooperation between Ghana and Cote D’ Ivoire.
Present at the ceremony were the Board Chairman of GOIL, Hon. Kwamena Bartels, Board members and Management of GOIL, Chiefs of the area, officials from Ghana Highways Authority and other business partners of GOIL.