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Lands Minister tasks VALCO board and GIADEC to transform aluminium sector

The VALCO Board of Director being sworn into office

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, has charged the newly constituted governing board of the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) and the industry’s supervising agency, the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Corporation (GIADEC), to do everything in their power to transform Ghana’s aluminium industry.

The minister made this call when he swore in a six-member board of directors, made up of individuals from accomplished backgrounds in the fields of energy, economics and industrialisation, to serve a four-year term and steer the revamping agenda of the Volta Aluminium Company.

The minister was visibly elated that GIADEC and the ministry have been able to put together a board for VALCO, a company that has been without directors for a long while and suffered a steep decline. He expressed the hope that the new board, with GIADEC’s support, will overcome the myriad challenges VALCO has faced and implement a recovery plan that will lead to optimisation of the company’s full capacity.

“In spite of the challenges, VALCO remains a strategic Ghanaian asset that is considered a major cornerstone of the integrated aluminium industry [IAI] in Ghana,” Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh said. “GIADEC, in partnership with the management of VALCO, has deployed a recovery plan with the aim of retrofitting the plant so that it can produce at its full capacity of 200,000 tonnes per annum and expand by an additional 100,000 tonnes,” Asomah-Cheremeh said.

The minister further urged the board and management of GIADEC to give practical meaning to the president’s growth and transformation plan for the Ghanaian economy, the “Ghana Beyond Aid” Agenda, by leveraging the nation’s existing bauxite reserves and the smelting of aluminium to make the Ghanaian economy an enviable one.

He reminded both teams – especially the chief executive of GIADEC, who is also a member of VALCO’s board – that this is the reason why GIADEC has been set up.

He hoped to see, in a few years, the creation of over 35,000 jobs and a significant contribution to the country’s gross domestic product.

“It is expected that Ghana’s IAI will lead to the creation of over 35,000 new jobs (10,000 direct and 25,000 indirect). It is also expected that there will be an annual boost to the economy of about $10 billion. The $10 billion boost will be achieved through mining, refining and smelting (approximately $2-3 billion) in addition to contributions from the downstream and allied industries,” he said.

According to the minister, it is expected that Ghana will rank eighth in the world for bauxite reserves (after China and above India), with expected annual production of between ten and 20 million tonnes.

The VALCO board of directors

VALCO board chairman 

The board chairman of the Volta Aluminium Company, Henry Benyah, thanked the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the minister and GIADEC for the confidence reposed in him and his team of directors, especially in retrofitting and revamping what had almost become a white elephant.

He assured the government of the team’s commitment to reviving the company to lead GIADEC’s vision of establishing a viable industry, one that is relevant in the whole value chain and will serve as a pivot to Ghana’s industrialisation programmes.

Dr Benyah was emphatic that the board will see to the actual retrofitting of the VALCO plant over the next five years to enable the required or expanded production capacity of 300,000 metric tonnes.


The chief executive officer of GIADEC, Michael Ansah, who is also a board member of VALCO, expresssed his pleasure that GIADEC’s plan for restructuring, reforming and expanding the bauxite and aluminium industry is fully on course. A typical example of this success, he said, is witnessing of the inauguration of a governing board for VALCO.

Responding to questions about mounting concern over bauxite exploitation in Ghana relating to the Sinohydro agreement – under which the Chinese state-owned company will finance selected government capital projects, with Ghana paying back the investment with proceeds from sales of refined bauxite – Ansah explained that the deal is the result of a positive, well-thought-out developmental decision which will benefit and develop Ghana as a whole, rather than benefiting a few.

“We’ve had bauxite since this country has existed. We have close to a billion tonnes of bauxite,” Ansah said.

“We’ve not exploited this fully. We have only one mine in Awaso today. We are looking at exploiting the full resource that we have in Nyihahin today and Kyebi as well, and this would give us the beginnings of a mining industry that can support a viable refinery that would feed the smelter that we have.”

Board members

The members of the inaugurated board include Dr Henry Benyah (chairman).

The members are Daniel Acheampong, Dr Gloria Naa Dzama Addico, Honourable Samuel Evans Ashong Narh, Seth Adjete Adjei and Michael Ansah.

Wilberforce Asare / Asaase Radio

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