Kwasi Bonzoh addressing the participants
A group of Ghanaian investors have initiated plans to set up a polyethylene plant at Esiama in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region in partnership with the Ghana Gas Company to manufacture plastics and plastic-related products under the government’s flagship ‘one district, one factory’ (1D1F) policy.
The project which has had the support from the local people of Esiama and its surrounding communities would help create thousands of jobs and add to government’s revenue mobilisation.
The project developers and partners also seek to roll out the landmark industry for the rapid economic development and diversification of the local economy.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Ellembelle, Kwasi Bonzoh, who disclosed this mentioned that the market for plastics and plastic-related products keep growing and stressed the need for the country to delve into the opportunity.
The DCE spoke to journalists in an interview during the final Public Hearing on Draft District Medium Term Development Plan 2018-2021 organised by the Ellembelle District Assembly at Anyinase in the district.
“We need to create a petro-chemical industry here and we have realised that a polyethylene plant will be appropriate since the Ghana Gas Company located in the district produces high component of ethane needed for the manufacturing of plastics,” he indicated.
Kwasi Bonzoh added, “The current gas production of the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant has about six to 10 percent of ethane, and that will constitute the main raw material for the plant. The polyethylene plant will adopt a splitting decomposition technology.”
The DCE continued, “Our preliminary discussions with key stakeholders revealed that the project is a priority because of the opportunity to take the raw materials directly from Ghana Gas and the number of jobs it will create.”
He explained that the implementation of the initiative could go a long way to make the Ellembelle District the hub for the export of plastics and plastic products to other countries.
Kwasi Bonzoh explained that the project would provide the opportunity to enhance local content, employment, economic diversification and the application of advanced technologies in the growing oil and gas industrial chain.
“The creation of this allied industry of the oil and gas industry will be beneficial to the economy of Ghana and is in line with the government’s industrialisation plans boldly outlined under the 1D1F initiative,” he explained.
The DCE mentioned that the Ellembelle District is an agrarian area and that coconut used to be the mainstay of the people but the coconut trees have been destroyed by the Cape St Paul wilt disease.
“So now many of the farmers had gone into the planting of food crops particularly, cassava farming. But unfortunately, when the farmers produce the crop there is no ready market for it,” he disclosed.
The DCE, therefore, indicated that the district would establish a cassava processing plant for the production of industrial starch and would serve as a ready market for the farmers’ produce at a good price.
He was very hopeful that the move would help motivate the farmers to produce more to feed the factory and for domestic use.
“Upon completion, the cassava processing plant is expected to create over 1,000 direct and indirect jobs for the youth of the district,” he pointed out.
On the government Free Senior High School (SHS) policy, the DCE called on Ghanaians to put away their partisan interests and support the policy to succeed since it is benefiting all Ghanaians irrespective of their political affiliations.
He disclosed that majority of parents and students in the district are excited about the Free SHS and so the assembly had begun using parts of its internally generated funds (IGF) to support some of the SHSs in the area to help surmount some of the challenges they are currently facing.
“Every new initiatives from successive governments faced initial challenges and the current challenges confronting the Free SHS policy is nothing different and I believe that with the challenges will be over,” he added.
According to him, activists of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) saw the policy as a big threat to their chance of winning political power and had allegedly decided to just criticise it.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Ellembelle