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25.08.2004 Business & Finance

Tropical Cable to Manufacture Aluminium Rods

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Accra, Aug. 25, GNA - Tropical Cable and Conductor Limited (TCCL), a domestic manufacturer of aluminium and copper over-head-line conductors and insulated cables, said on Wednesday that arrangements were underway for it to start an aluminium rod manufacturing line at Tema.

Construction works on the five million dollar factory is expected to start by the end of the year. It is to be run with Angelique International Limited, as technical non-equity holding partner. "The technical partner company, would bring down a team to assist in the installation of machinery and train local people to operate the machines," Mr Tony Oteng-Gyasi, Managing Director of TCCL, said in a statement.

This line of manufacturing is a continuous casting and rolling process, using aluminium ingots. The final product would be used as raw material to manufacture cables and other downstream aluminium products. The factory would produce 20,000 metric tons of aluminium rods per year and initially employ more than 100 people. TCCL would export 80 per cent of its production from the rod manufacturing line and consequently steps are being taken to convert the Company status to that of a Free Zone Company.

"The move forms part of TCCL's continuing effort to improve the country's export of aluminium products and further support the electrification project in the West African Sub-Region," he said. Mr Oteng-Gyasi said the development would help to significantly reduce the importation of aluminium rods with its attendant difficulties and costs as well as result in better prices for cables. He called on the Government to speed up efforts at reviving the VALCO smelter to facilitate the development of downstream production of aluminium products in the country.

TCCL, which started operations in 1998, is currently the only cable manufacturer in the country to have achieved the esteemed and coveted ISO 9001, 2000 Certification in June this year. Currently TCCL was supplying cables to the Volta River Authority, the Electricity Company of Ghana, the Energy Ministry and Ghana Telecom among other organisations. However, high tariffs and import duty on raw materials coupled with the influx of inferior cables on the market continued to hamper the Company's competitiveness, Mr Oteng-Gyasi said.

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