Sep 23, 2010 (Ghanaian Chronicle/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- Ghana's Bauxite and aluminum industries have received a major boost, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese Firm, Bosai Minerals Group, to invest $1.2 billion into the sector, by establishing a modern alumina refinery plant in Ghana.
The investment is part of a four-year development plan to massively upgrade the production capacity of the Ghana Bauxite Company Limited in Awaso, in the Western Region, in which Bosai Minerals recently acquired 80 per cent shares, with the government controlling the remaining 20 per cent.
The MoU, which is one of the significant outcomes of the ongoing state visit to China by President John Evans Atta Mills, is expected to revamp the country's bauxite and aluminium industries to become major exporter, with the initial annual production of two million tonnes of bauxite.
Apart from the investment for the refinery, which is expected to be completed by 2014 when construction takes off early 2011, Bosai intends to invest in energy production to assist in providing sufficient power for the plant and other ancillary income-generating activities in the Western Region.
Since the acquisition of all the Rio-Tinto-Alcan 80 per cent shares in the Ghana Bauxite Company, Bosai has put forward an aggressive two-pronged investment strategy, with the objective to increasing bauxite production to 1.5 million tonnes by 2011, and also establish the Alumina Refinery Plant in Ghana by 2014, to make good use of the bauxite.
Although the plant is expected to be completed in 2014, President Mills want the project fast-tracked to aid rapid growth in Ghana, as part of the 'Better Ghana' agenda.
At a meeting, President Mills, with executives of the Bosai Group, after signing the MoU, expressed appreciation to the company for having confidence in the Ghanaian economy. Lauding their commitment to expand investment in Ghana, President Mills said the government would cooperate with them to ensure that the projects become beneficial to the company and Ghanaians.
The Managing Director of the Bosai Mineral Group, Zhilun Yuan, initialled the MoU, while the Minister of Trade and Industry, Hanna Tetteh, signed for Ghana.
Briefing President Mills on the operations of the company, Mr. Yuan, said Bosai aims to promote more direct investment in many sectors in Ghana.
At a luncheon held in honour of President Mills by the Mayor of Chongquing, one of the well-developed provinces where the Bosai Group is situated, President Mills thanked the Mayor, Huang Qifan, for encouraging companies in his province to invest in Ghana.
The support, he said, was indicative of the genuineness of the cooperation and friendship between the two countries.