President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commissioned the $80 million Electrochem Ghana Ltd. Salt Mine and Washing Plant at Sege in the Ada East District.
Electrochem Ghana Ltd, operated by the McDan Group, is a wholly Ghanaian Mining Company which has secured a concession of 41,000 acres at the Ada Songor to produce 1,000, 000 metric tonnes of salt every year.
The project is the largest salt and chlorine-alkali manufacturing company in West Africa and one of the leading players in the world’s salt industry.
The Mine currently can produce 650,000 metric tons of salt per annum. It is expected to increase its productive capacity to one million metric tons in 2024, and to two million metric tons by 2025, making it the biggest salt-producing facility in Africa.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, President Akufo-Addo said the project has the potential to generate the needed foreign exchange for the country as well as create jobs for the teaming youth of Ada and its surrounding communities.
President Akufo-Addo said Nigeria, which is Ghana’s next-door neighbour, has a demand for one million tonnes of salt annually, whose supply is met by Brazilian exporters.
That demand, according to him, could be taken up by Electrochem Ghana Limited and other investors who had made huge investments to mine salt in the Ada Songor area.
President Alufo-Addo said for some 54 years, successive governments had tried, without success, to harness the full value of the Songor Lagoon.
“I am glad that under the government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Songhor Lagoon is being brought into full production for the benefit of residents of Ada and citizens of the entire nation,” he said.
He praised Mr. Daniel McKorley, aka McDan for his brilliance of courage and excellent entrepreneurial skills and leadership,
According to President Akufo-Addo, this is the first time in recent history that an indigenous Ghanaian businessman owns one of the biggest extractive industries in Africa.
“He is a shining example of what determination and perseverance can produce”
President said he was startled by a news report in 2008 which suggested that Nigeria was in the process of importing two-billion-dollar worth of salt from Brazil.
“…Think with me for a moment about the prospects of Ghana selling $2 billion worth of salt to Nigeria and the ripple effects of the sale of such a simple commodity, which Nigeria and indeed, many other countries in West Africa import from other continents, can have on our economy,” he added.
As an advocate for value-addition activities, President Akufo-Addo expressed delight that Electrochem is in the process of constructing a salt refinery, in addition to a Port not too far away from the mining site to export refined salt products to the wider African market.
The President was confident that the expected revenues of some $1 billion to the company would be surpassed.
He expressed the government and the people of Ghana’s appreciation to the Paramount Chief of the Ada Traditional Area, Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III, his Chiefs and the people of Ada for the support given for the project to succeed.
President Akufo-Addo also took notice of the request by McDan in his speech requesting for the construction of some major road projects leading to the mine.
He assured that, “I will put these requests before the Minister for Roads and Highways and ensure that he does his best to construct the roads. I intend to take a personal interest in them.”
The President reiterated his belief that not only is Ghana the best place for doing business in West Africa but also the preferred destination for a perfect blend of mineral resource potential, stable regulatory environment, favourable fiscal regime and socially responsive mining in Africa.
“In spite of our present challenges, I maintain that it is an exciting time to be in Ghana and do business in the country. The Akufo-Addo government is determined to make Ghana an example of rapid economic growth within the context of a well-developed market economy, where the private sector does not only survive but actually thrives,” President Akufo-Addo stated.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD