The first phase of a new salt production company, Abrobi Salt Company, covering 50 hectares of land with an annual production capacity of 6,000 metric tonnes of salt, has been inaugurated at Abrobeano near Komenda, in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) District of the Central Region.
So far ¢6.25 billion has been spent on the project. Ms Cynthia Clottey, the chairperson of the company, has 51 per cent equity with the Union Mining Limited, a British firm, having 49 per cent.
Harvesting of salt is expected by January next year. Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Public Sector Reform, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, said the government would continue to provide the needed infrastructure and enabling environment for private investment and job creation as a way of reducing poverty.
Dr Nduom, who is also the CPP member for the KEEA, commended the company for complementing the social investments made by the government in the rural community and said the operations of the company would go a long way to provide an alternative source of livelihood for the people in the area.
Ms Clottey assured the people in the community that the company would rely on their support and goodwill for its operations and urged them to continue to offer the same support during its construction stage.
She stressed the need for unity and peace and co-operation to sustain the company to provide employment for the people and reduce the level of poverty in the area.
Currently, the company employs 20 people and this number is expected to go up by about 500 at an operational capacity of 12,000 metric tonnes in the final stage.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, who inaugurated the project, said the country had the best coastline and the climatic conditions in the ECOWAS sub-region for the production of salt, but the potential was yet to be fully tapped.
Mr Osei-Ameyaw, who is also the NPP Member of Parliament for Asuogyaman, said the country presently produced about 350,000 metric tonnes of salt per annum and that it had the potential to do about three million metric tonnes per annum.
He commended the company for investing in the salt industry to provide employment and generate foreign exchange for the country, among other social-economic benefits.
The Deputy Central Regional Minister, Nana Ato Arthur, advised the chiefs, the people and those whose lands had been affected by the operations of the company to resort to dialogue and resolve associated problem so that they could reap maximum benefit from the company.
He assured the management of the company of the support of the Regional Co-ordinating Council and the Central Regional Development Company for its success.
The Omanhen of the Komenda Traditional Area, Nana Kodwo Kne II, who chaired the function, reminded the people of the untold hardships the collapse of the Komenda Sugar Factory brought to the people in the area and urged them to give their maximum support and co-operation to the company, since it would help revive economic activities in the area.