Goil Ghana Limited is diversifying into the production of polymer-modified bitumen as an added value model to sustain the business and promote national development.
Amid the global energy transition aimed at minimising the effects of fossil fuel on the environment, GOIL has constructed a bitumen plant under a joint-venture with Societe Multinationale de Bitumes (SMB) of Cote d’Ivoire, which is set to become operational in September 2021.
Addressing selected journalists in Accra last Friday, the Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GOIL, Mr Kwame Osei-Prempeh, said the project would enhance technology transfer.
He said the project, constructed at a cost of $35 million, had a production capacity of 240 metric tonnes per day for the bitumen emulsion and the polymer-modified bitumen.
He intimated that the project would add up to other investments, such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottling and distribution plants, as well as an autogas investment drive.
It would also enhance market share and further ensure that the company found new revenue streams to keep people in employment, he added.
Mr Osei-Prempeh said the gradual shift from policies that had supported oil and gas production within the global space had seen many entities and governments encouraging the use of low sulphur content fuel, especially renewable energy,
That development, he said, could become a disincentive for future oil retail business, particularly diesel.
The CEO noted that the oil retail and marketing sector had seen increasing competition, with nearly 100 licensed oil marketing companies (OMCs) operating in the sector.
“Coupled with the large importation of bitumen into the country for road construction, we felt the investment in the polymer modified bitumen will give an added competency capacity to the technical staff of the company by way of knowledge and technology transfer,” he said.
With GOIL undertaking an expansion drive, the CEO was convinced that the polymer-modified bitumen would hugely add to the drive, since the technical people would have an enhanced capacity to influence the goal.
Polymer modified bitumen is a combination of asphalt and more polymer materials which, Mr Osei-Prempeh believed, would be appropriate for road projects that experienced heavy-duty traffic and extreme weather conditions.
He mentioned the 14-kilometre N1 Highway, which stretches from the Tetteh-Quarshie Roundabout to the Mallam Junction in Accra, as one project that was constructed using the polymer-modified bitumen.
“Adopting the polymer modified bitumen product for all forms of construction projects will be an added advantage in saving cost on the maintenance of road infrastructure across the country,” he said.
The CEO posited that the aftermath of the gas explosion incident at the Atomic Junction in Accra in 2018 and the subsequent national directive for LPG bottle filling had seen GOIL take up the challenge to construct bottling and distributing plants in Tema and Kumasi.
In the same vein, GOIL had introduced an autogas business, with five retail outlets located at Burma Camp in Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast and Takoradi, where LPG bullets are fully buried and fitted with modern technology to offer a safer way of filling vehicles with LPG.
The success of the five outlets, he said, would inform the expansion drive into other cities across the country.