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06.04.2006 Business & Finance

Juapong textiles unable to open this month

The expected reopening of Juapong Textiles Limited (JTL) early this month has run into technical and other difficulties and the factory will, therefore, not be resuming production as planned.

“Some vital equipment are missing at the factory. Negotiations have also not been concluded with prospective investors as expected. Juapong Textiles Limited will definitely be reopened, but these bottlenecks have to be resolved first,” he said

JTL closed down in 2004, after the former majority shareholder, VLISCO BV of Holland, which held a 62.5 per cent share in the textile company, pulled out of Juapong Textiles last year, citing serious financial and operational difficulties.

Answering a question by Mr Charles Hodogbey, NDC Member of Parliament for North Tongu on the floor of Parliament on January 25, 2006, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, said the textile production company would resume operations early April, 2006.

Mr Hodogbey had asked the Trade and Industry Minister what plans the government had for JTL, following the pull-out by VLISCO BV.

In answering, Mr Kyerematen revealed that the ministry had taken over the assets of JTL under a memorandum of understanding reached with the liquidators.

He indicated that the government had spent $5million on the payment of end of service benefits to former workers of JTL.

In his submissions to Parliament, Mr Kyeremanten also said the previous management staff of the company had assisted the ministry in drawing up a comprehensive management and operational plan for the resumption of production at JTL in early April this year.

Mr Kyerematen said JTL would resume operations this month, with the production of high-quality grey baft for the local textile industry and that three companies- Tex Stlyes (Ghana) Limited, Ghana Textile Products and Akosombo Textiles — had all agreed to purchase grey baft from a rejuvenated JTL.

He explained that to achieve these objectives, efforts were in progress at the time to attract additional capital from new investors for a programme of modernization of the company's factory.

However, in an interview, Public Relations Officer of the ministry, Kodua Ejedkumhene, confirmed to the Daily Graphic Tuesday that JTL would not be reopening this month.

He said he was unable to say how long it was likely to take the ministry to obtain the additional investment needed for the programme of modernization of the factory or how soon production at the factory would resume.

“What I can tell you is that a comprehensive technical audit on Juapong Textiles Limited has been conducted by a technical team, comprising representatives of all stakeholders.

The audit report has just been presented to the ministry. The ministry will study the report and come out with modalities for the reopening and operation of the factory.”