The emergence of new cement companies in Ghana is beginning to result in the production of substandard cements.
Information gathered about standard cement quality revealed that in order to beat competition and gain market share, some of the companies are producing far below the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) approved standards.
The situation, if not quickly investigated and addressed by the GSA will see more buildings collapsing, particularly in the Ashanti Region, Brong Ahafo and some parts of the three regions in the north.
Sources reveal that the companies are targeting to flood those regions with the substandard cement due to their proximity to the production plant, hence lower production cost and ultimately lower cement price in the market.
According to the approved standards, a good cement grade of 32.5R that is used for general construction works is expected to attain a minimum full strength of not less than 32.5MPa 28 days after testing, however, one of the companies recently established in the Ashanti Region from an independent test conducted, failed this strength development test and fell way below the minimum approved standard.
Also, initial setting time of a good cement is expected to be about 75 minutes after use, but the company in question is producing a cement with a setting time of 247 minutes which is also far below the approved standard.
Having these substandard products hit the market will see more structures collapsing in the near future while the cement producer is making profits.
The cement industry in Ghana is fast growing following the emergence of new manufacturing companies such as CIMAF, LarfargHolcim (CBI) and Xin-An Cement. The old established ones are Ghacem and Diamond Cement.
President Nana Akufo-Addo recently laid the foundation stone for the construction of a cement factory at the Tema Free Zones enclave to be operated by CBI Ghana and produce cement under the name Supacem.
In addition, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia also cut sod for the construction of another cement factory under the one-district one factory initiative in the Dawa Industrial City in Accra.
The $30 million Ilam Cement factory, is 90% foreign owned by Iran and 10% by a Ghanaian individual and will be completed in two years.
Furthermore, rise in cement companies is expected to bring stiff competition in the industry in the coming years and possibly force prices down due to the different technologies being used to produce the cement.
Author: Emmanuel Ohemeng/Kasapa News’ Editor