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20.04.2007 Business & Finance

GHACEM installs power plant to boost cement production


A 5.1 megawatt Diesel Power Generator was commissioned at Ghacem yesterday to replace the company's 25 per cent reduction in energy consumption as directed by the Volta River Authority (VRA).

The load shedding exercise has affected cement production hence the acquisition of the generator.

Commissioning the plant, Information and National Orientation Minister, Kwamena Bartels condemned the price hike in cement and described the situation as "obscene and questionable."

The Minister asked Ghacem Limited to be firm and exercise control over its distributors and retailers to stop the exorbitant prices at which cement is sold.

The price of the product has recently jumped from the ex-factory price of c57,000 to c100,000.

Mr. Bartels assured Ghanaians that government was working hard to find lasting solution to the energy crisis currently facing the country.

He said generating plants had been imported and were being installed to augment power supply and hopefully by the end of April, 86 megawatts of power would be added to the national grid.

A consortium of mining companies are also installing another 80 megawatt power plant which would be ready in June while government through the VRA had brought in a 26 megawatt plant which would be installed and commissioned in August.

As a conservation measure, he said six million energy – saving bulbs had been imported which were expected to save the country up to 200 megawatts of power, he said adding that all these would enable the VRA and the ECG to review the load shedding by August.

Mortem Gade, Managing Director of Ghacem, said that 40,000 tonnes of bagged cement would be imported over a period at an average rate of 40,000 bags a week.

Already the company had brought in a quantity of imported cement for use on on-going critical projects.

Mr. Gade said Ghacem was not happy about the shortage of cement on the market and gave the assurance that steps were being taken to flood the market to bring down prices.