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14.09.2004 Business & Finance

Poor management of salt industries hinder production

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Accra, Sept 14, GNA - An Audit of the Salt Industry in Ghana indicated that about 99 per cent of the industries do not have good management of their operations resulting in low salt production.

Mr. Hector Teruel, a Marine Biologist from Venezuela, who presented a report on the audit-survey said with the exception of the Eldin Company in the Prampram area, management of the operations of the 20 other companies studied needed to be improved. He said Eldin Company applied modern technology according to international standards for solar salt operation and it managed its operations well.

The Salt Industries include Songor Salt Project Ltd, Ningo Salt Ltd, Savannah Salt Company Ltd, Sege Salt Works Ltd, Dangbe Salt, Nyanyano Salt Association, Panbros Salt, Elmina and U-2 Co. Ltd. The rest are Adjua Salt Mining Company, Travevco Salt and Trading Ltd, Petua Salt and Company, John Haris, Modern Salt, Pakat Salt, Zam Salt Company Ltd, Trans Volta Salt and Sastin Salt Ltd.

Mr Teruel noted that all the salt industries in Ghana produced approximately 160,000 metric tonnes of yearly, short of the accepted of 1,000,000 metric tonnes to make Ghana a minimum large-scale operator. The biggest large-scale producer in the world is in Baja California Desert, Mexico with an annual high quality production of 8,000,000 metric tonnes. Mr Teruel said if the recommendations presented to the Presidential Special Initiative (PSI) would be followed, salt production in Ghana could increase by 40 per cent, thus from 160,000 to 220,000 metric tonnes a year.

The recommendations include the integration of the Indian Pond and Atlantic pond and the remainder crystalliser that was not in use in the Songor salt project, which could increase its production from 40,000 metric tonnes yearly to 200,000. He said most of the companies used less than 10 to 20 per cent of their property and that they needed to expand their production area to meet the expected capacity of 1,000,000 MT.

Ghana has good climatic conditions for salt production and was a potential to become a large scale producer if government and bankers would help financially, to expand the companies, he said. Dr Essel Ben Hagan, Director of the Institute of Industrial Research called for government's official policy for the salt industry so as not to destroy the environment in the areas where they operated. He said there was the need to set up a demonstration site where experts could provide services on good salt production techniques and environmental preservation. Mr. Seth Evans Addo, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and PSI expressed government's commitment to achieve the objectives set out in the PSI and especially for the salt industry.