The Juapong Textiles Limited which was closed down two years ago due to production difficulties bounces back to full operation in June under a new name, the Volta Star Textiles Limited.
Currently, maintenance works are being carried out on the machines by a skeleton staff ahead of the re-opening to produce gray baft to feed other textile factories. Gray baft is the basic material for manufacturing textile prints.
The Director of Finance, Human Resource Management and Administration of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and PSI, Mr Abraham Sowah Bakoe, who confirmed this to the Ghanaian Times said the refurbishment of the factory is being undertaken by the ministy with Chinese technical assistance.
He said the re-opening of the factory was as a result of the government's decision to revamp distressed but potentially viable companies as provided in the 2007 budget statement.
It also formed part of government's plans to create job opportunities for the youth as it promised in its policy statement on job creation.
The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Charles Hodogbey, in whose constituency Juapong is, described the revitalisation of the factory as good news which will go a long way to reduce the unemployment rate in the area.
He commended the government for listening to public appeal for Juapong to be re-opened.
Mr Hodogbey said the reopening of the factory will also open other job opportunities for the local people who use waste cotton to produce pillows and mattresses.
It will also boost the operations of other service providers like hair dressers, tailors, dressmakers, and food stuff sellers in the area, he said.
He appealed to the agencies responsible for the recruitment of persons to work in the factory not to base it on political or tribal affiliations.
Mr Ash Quayson, one of the technical men working on the machines said they were working feverishly to enable the factory to resume full operation at the envisaged time.
A former worker of the factory, Yaw George, described the reopening as a great relief to the inhabitants of Juapong and neighbouring Kpong, Atimpoku and Akosombo.
On June 30, 2005, the Juapong factory folded up and about 1,000 workers retrenched, following the decision of its major shareholder, VLlSCO Company of Holland to pull out citing low production and high debt stock.
JTL's demise came at the heels of the temporary closure 10 days earlier of the distressed Ghana Textiles Print which laid off about 700 of its workers.
The fate of the two factories was seen as a reflection of the general depression to which the local textiles industry had sunk in the face of unfavourable competition from cheap import substitutes mainly from the Far East.
JTL was established in 1968 primarily to produce and supply gray baft to feed other textile industries locally and neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso.
Source: The Ghanaian Times