President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will on Wednesday August 30,2023 Commission Africa’s largest commercial salt production project being executed by Electrochem Ghana Limited at Ada Songor in the eastern Coast of the Greater Accra region, Ghana.
A wholly owned Ghanaian mining firm, ElectroChem Ghana Limited, acquired the 41,000 acres Songor enclave concession which cuts across over thirty communities on a long term basis for the Ada Songor salt project which has become the largest in acreage and production in sub-saharan Africa as compared to the Walvis Bay of Namibia which is about 16,700 acres and currently the largest.
The Electrochem Ghana Songor salt development project is expected to produce at least 1,000,000 metric tons of salt annually compared to the Walvis Bay of Namibia field which is currently producing about 900, 000 annually.
Some industry experts say with the advent of Electrochem Ghana ltd the investor, Ghana is about to become a significant player in the supply of the commodity in the global market which currently uses 271 million metric tons of salt produced.
The redevelopment plan instituted by Electrochem since the acquisition has seen a total investment of $80 Million so far which has gone into rehabilitating salt pans and the restoration of the Songhor Lagoon which had dried up for over eight years.
Salt is an infinite resource with over 14,000 uses and serves as raw material for use in the pharmaceutical, food processing, oil and gas, food preservation, production of caustic soda, the textiles industry, mining, road maintenance, hospitals and hospitality sectors.
According to the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), salt in Ghana has the potential to earn $500 Million a year in foreign exchange for the country with Nigeria and the sub-region as priority markets.
Chairman of the McDan Group of Companies, Dr Daniel McCorley who is founder of Electrochem Ghana also hinted of listing Electrochem unto the Ghana Stock Exchange to provide an opportunity for all citizens who are willing procure stakes in the salt mining company for job creation and development of the economy .
Addressing the Chiefs and people of Ada recently at the grand durbar of the 2023 Asafotufiami festival, president Akufo-Addo noted that has the project has the capacity of transforming not only the Ada state but the economy of the country at large and urged the people to offer their unflinching support to Electrochem Ghana Limited as it works to transform the enclave into a world class salt production site.
“… I want all the people in Ada to continue giving maximum support to Electrochem Ghana Limited since the project has the capacity to transform the lives of the citizenry in addition to transforming Ada and Ghana’s economy. In so doing, government will also be able to respond to some of the matters that Djetse has raised such as environmental preservation, global warming, the surge in the sea and its devastating effect on the island and coastal communities, the development of road infrastructure, among others. ” the President noted
Elecrochem Ghana say it has in place a strategic plan for the development of the entire Ada Songor salt value-chain including the production of caustic soda, other chemicals for the transformation of the area into a modern economic hub in the West African sub-region and Africa as a whole.
The Ada Songhor Salt Project was constructed in the 1970s as the largest in sub-saharan Africa and was later vested in government of Ghana in 1992.
The project was however rift several challenges especially lack of investment it to thrive.
Following a parliamentary approval in accordance with provisions of Article 268(1) of the Constitution and Section 5(4) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), Electrochem Ghana Ltd, the investor obtained a long term lease in 2021 for mineral rights to dig for, mine and produce salt for the total redevelopment of the Ada songor enclave.
The investor was expected to pay on or before the execution of the agreement, an annual mineral right fee of US$100,101.00 to the Minerals Commission.
Per the agreement, Electrochem Ghana Limited was also liable to pay royalty every quarter in accordance with the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) and an annual ground rent to the state represented by the Lands Commission and also allow members of the local community, to exercise customary rights and privileges such as hunting and snaring of game, gathering of firewood for domestic purposes, collection of snails, farming and observation of rites in respect of sacred areas in and over the licenced area.
By: Christan Kpesese/www.eagleghana.com