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Govt seeks Strategic Investor to galvanize Integrated Aluminium Industry

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VALCO has gone through turbulent phases including a series of shutdowns largely due to the lack of investment, repairs, and maintenance. In 2008, the Government of Ghana, under former President John Agyekum Kufuor, acquired Kaiser’s shares in VALCO making it a wholly Ghanaian owned Company. The plant has been operating with the same dated technology and obsolete equipment inherited from the previous owners (Kaiser Aluminium and Alcoa) and has one of the highest production costs per a ton of aluminium globally. 

The lack of capital injection and modernization of the plant, over the years, has led to VALCO operating under capacity and recording loses.

President Akufo-Addo, with his vision to industrialize and transform Ghana’s economy; birthed the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) in 2018 with a mandate to develop and promote Ghana’s Integrated Aluminium Industry (IAI).

VALCO in the Integrated Aluminum Industry Project

GIADEC is mandated by its enabling Act of 2018 (Act 976) to develop Ghana’s Integrated Aluminium Industry spanning bauxite mining, alumina refining, aluminium smelting and downstream aluminium products manufacturing. In this pursuit, Government’s 100% ownership of VALCO has been transferred to GIADEC. Also, per the Master Plan of GIADEC, VALCO has been made the anchor of the IAI Project, linking the upstream and downstream sectors of the aluminium industry.

VALCO, being the only existing Smelter in Ghana, is required to expand its production from the current 40,000tpa to 300,000tpa of aluminium, implying that the Company’s production capacity must be increased by 650%. To achieve this target, VALCO requires significant transformation to retrofit its old and obsolete potlines as well as other production facilities, plant and equipment to more modern and efficient technology. The fully retrofitted VALCO Smelter will increase its installed capacity to a fully operational 300,000 tpa.

VALCO’s retrofitting project

The VALCO retrofitting project involves the replacement of the five (5) obsolete P69 Potlines and associated plant and equipment of the Smelter to a modern and more efficient smelting technology. GIADEC and VALCO have assessed the financial needs for the retrofitting Project and have estimated it at Six hundred million United States Dollars (USD600,000,000)
The Retrofitting will be done in two phases to enable production to continue without supply interruptions to the burgeoning local downstream companies.

Cabinet Approval

In June, 2022, Cabinet granted approval for Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) and the Volta Aluminium Company Limited (VALCO) to identify and engage a Strategic Partner with the financial and relevant capacity to provide the needed investment and technical wherewithal plus strategic international linkages.

Future State of VALCO

The implementation of Project 4 - the modernisation and expansion of the VALCO smelter to improve efficiency and increase capacity; is to ensure that VALCO is positioned to sustainably grow and be profitable and contribute towards establishing and realising the linkages of the upstream and downstream components of the Masterplan for Ghana’s IAI. The mordenisation and retrofitting of the VALCO smelter will increase the plant’s current production of 50,000 to new installed capacity of 300,000 tonnes that will be a major boost to realisation of the plan.


Benefits of a retrofitted and modernized VALCO

The retrofitting is designed to transform VALCO from a loss-making entity into a best-in-class profit-making and shareholder value-maximising entity, promoting the Government’s industrialisation agenda and contributing substantially to the socio-economic development and growth of the Ghanaian economy.

VALCO's smelting operations will allow significant value addition to Ghana’s bauxite resources. It is estimated that on an annual basis, 1.5mt of bauxite valued at approximately USD75million can generate USD180million after refinery and USD600million after smelting. 

Smelting is the key linkage between the upstream and downstream sector of the aluminium industry where a tonne of aluminium can generate USD6,000 – which is three times the value after smelting (USD2,000 per tonne).

VALCO operating at 40% capacity currently employs about 750 workers. After retrofitting and modernizing the plant to increase production from the current 50,000 to 300,000 tonnes of aluminium per annum, the smelter will create high-paying direct plus indirect jobs in the thousands for Ghanaians.


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Office Location

Volta Aluminium Company Limited (VALCO)
Heavy Industrial Area,Tema, Ghana
Phone: +233-302208787