Business News of Tuesday, 5 January 2016
Ghana’s first indigenous steel manufacturer, Western Steel and Forging Ltd., is undertaking what managers call a historic restructuring.
The company says a new strategic vision has meant that it has to transform and modernize its operations in order to stay ahead of the competition.
General Manager, Operations and Projects, Mr. Bhupen Achavya, says the entire operations of the company are being overhauled to meet international standards and changing trends.
Various heavy machines have been shipped into the country and are being installed as part of steps to achieve the new vision.
Some of those machines, he said, are the Continuous Casting Machines (CCMs).
“This is a fast-production machine which will speed up production and cut cost of production significantly,” he stated.
Civil platforms are being cast for these massive pieces of equipment in the company’s Tema premises.
According to the management of Western Steel and Forging Limited, procuring and installing such expensive but efficient equipment is necessary to increase productivity, improve efficiency and more importantly, expand the space to employ more people. Available figures indicate that at least 10,000 tonnes of iron rods are consumed locally every month.
This means the country spends huge sums on the essential building material.
The General Manger expressed regret that a large chunk of the supplies is imported into the country with foreign exchange, further burdening the local currency, the Cedi.
He said it is the aspiration of Western Steel to, starting from February 2016, produce sufficient quantities and reduce the motivation to spend hard-earned foreign exchange on importing iron rods.
But that is not all. He says the company is also working on modernizing its forging units by adding new machines.
“With our expansion programme, Western Steel will become the best plant in Ghana,” he said, brimming with smiles.
He said since 1993 when the antecedent company was founded, Western Steel’s core business has been the production of forge balls for the mining industry.
“In 2016, beginning February, we will produce at a faster rate, wire rods, binding wire, nails, and many other steel products locally,” he said.
Mr. Achavya believes this will greatly benefit the local economy.