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12.09.2005 Business & Finance

CPC to become first class food factory

GNA

Tema, Sept. 12, GNA - The first phase of the expansion works at the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) is almost completed and test run is expected to begin within the next few weeks, probably mid-October, management has said.

The first phase of the expansion project involves the construction of a new production line to process 30,000 metric tonnes of cocoa per annum.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Richard Amarh Tetteh, CPC's Managing Director, said the new line would be run alongside the current one until early next year when it would be shut down for upgrading under the second phase.

Mr Tetteh said CPC had so far spent 22 million Euros on machinery for the expansion work aimed at increasing production capacity from the current 25,000 metric tons to 65,000 ton per annum.

He said additional funding is required for the continuation of the second phase of the project, which entails upgrading of the current line to increase its throughput to 35,000 metric tons.

According to the Mr Tetteh, the CPC was negotiating with a consortium of banks led by Barclays Ghana Limited, as well as its largest shareholder, the Government.

Mr Tetteh said 12 million dollars out of the required additional funding would be spent on civil works and the purchase of additional machinery.

At the end of it all, CPC is expected to increase its turnover from 35 million dollars to a minimum 100 million dollars per annum, he said, and expressed optimism that the company would become a first class food factory of international repute.

Mr Richard Armah Tetteh hinted that the company was likely to maintain its current work force of over 600 employees, but stated that because the expansion programme was fully automated, CPC would have to re-channel some of its labour into the confectionary section, to improve upon the capacity there.

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