Friday, 08 December

Electrochem’s Songor salt project: $88m invested so far – Atta Akyea assures govt support

Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy touring Electrochem Ghana’s ultra-modern salt mining project at Ada

Electrochem Ghana has so far invested $88 million into the ultra-modern salt mining project at Ada.

The project covers the provision of a salt washing plant and its ancillary infrastructure and facilities.

This came to light when the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy visited the project site last Friday following recent disturbances

The engagement formed part of a monitoring exercise being undertaken on the orders of Parliament.

It would be recalled that the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, directed the Committee on Lands and Forestry and Mines and Energy to conduct a probe into the leasehold agreement that authorized Electrochem Ghana to embark on salt mining in Ada.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, assured the management of Electrochem Ghana Limited of the government’s full support and warned alleged saboteurs to desist from attacking the project.

“I’m using this opportunity to sign a note of caution to those who believe that the economic conditions of the people of Ada should not improve when you have a committed investor seeking to improve the livelihoods of the people.

When they have created a space for the community people to mine Salt and further provide a buy-back ready market and somebody sitting somewhere thinks he can undermine this undertaking that is lawlessness and I assure them that the law will take its due process and deal with such characters,” Hon. Atta Akyea warned.

Hon. Atta Akyea added, “We have engaged all the stakeholders especially with the company undertaking the Salt Mining Project, Electrochem Ghana Limited and we have learned about all the challenges they are facing.

…For the moment I’m very amazed that here is another undertaking that if given our full support would even rival what we are getting from Gold and Cocoa. We might not even have to go to the IMF seeking a bailout if we pay attention to the natural resource Salt.

‘What amazes me is that so far they haven’t even done 40% of the capacity of this setup…They’ve sunk about $88 Million into the undertaking. They also intend to do some massive export drive that will also rake in some foreign exchange for Ghana,” Mr Atta Akyea said.

He went on to state “My pain is that there are some people who believe that if they don’t undermine this project in their personal interest they won’t be happy.  It also means that to those people, if we put a very vast conspiracy with good intentions and even to the extent of killing somebody it is their pleasure.

 “We cannot have that kind of lawlessness that undermines an undertaking that can bless the entire country. This project is meant to benefit the entire nation and the Ada people,” Hon. Atta Akyea lamented.

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy held a closed-door meeting with the management of salt mining firm, Electrochem Ghana.

The committee also used the opportunity to embark on a tour of the facilities at the Electrochem Salt Mining Factory, where they were shown around the Salt Refinery and other areas of the mining site.

On his part, the Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee in Parliament, John Jinapor, had this to say: “We are here on a monitoring visit, on a fact-finding mission. It is obvious that this is a very very huge project and has the potential of impacting positively on the economic fortunes and activities of the people of Ada and the community.

“So right from here when we go back to parliament, I’m sure that we will report back to the Speaker and the House in general,” Mr Jinapor added.

We interacted with the staff, we interacted with the management of Electrochem Ghana Limited and its group Chairman McDan. They told us some of their challenges and what they expect the state to do to help them.

He indicated that what Parliament does is to ensure that business  thrives  “so it is necessary to engage all the stakeholders to ensure a more peaceful business environment.”

Meanwhile, Electrochem Ghana Limited has denied any involvement in the shooting incident that occurred at Toflokpo in the Ada West District of the Greater Accra Region, which resulted in the death of one person and the injury of several others.

The company added that it is awaiting the police to conduct an investigation into the shooting and report its findings accordingly.

Electrochem is a subsidiary of the McDan Group of Companies. It is the largest salt and chlorine-alkali manufacturing firm in West Africa with a concession spanning 41,000 acres at Ada Songor.

The company which was granted a fifteen-year mining lease to explore the salt resource in the Ada Sangor launched its operations in November 2020 with a target to produce one million (1,000,000) metric tons of salt per annum to supply to both the local and export markets.