Three cement plants closed; GSA claims they used subpar materials

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Three cement manufacturing enterprises have had their operations shut down by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) for using subpar materials in their cement production.

The Ashanti Region is home to the following companies: Uniceme Cement Ghana Ltd., located in Bekwai; Kumasi Cement Ghana Ltd., located in Offinso; and Xin An Safe Cement Ghana Ltd., located in Ejisu.

This action is part of a broader national initiative to curb poor-quality cement production. Under the direction of the federal Ministry of Trade and Industry, the GSA is leading the offensive.

The clampdown exercise includes not just the closure of the enterprises but also the prohibition of building new cement factories until regulatory bodies have expedited the procedure of issuing permits.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Professor Alex Dodoo, the Director-General of the GSA, stated that the goal of the exercise was to allay government worries over cement production standards, quality control, and environmental protection. GSA

Our actions are aimed at guaranteeing equitable commerce and stability within the manufacturing sector. “We have the potential to establish this nation as a global manufacturing hub, and any major player seeking to invest in the country must have confidence in us,” stated the Director-General.

Professor Dodoo emphasized the significance of simplifying the sectors that produced the genuine, long-term jobs that spurred economic expansion.

Failure test outcomes

According to Prof. Dodoo, GSA representatives visited the plants as part of the continuous audits and monitoring of cement quality in order to examine and sample bagged cement as well as constituent materials (raw materials) used in the production of cement for laboratory testing.

The mineral identification examination of the sample revealed that it was quartz and feldspar, and the test results from Xin An Safe Cement Ghana Ltd. showed that limestone did not meet the standards for calcium carbonate concentration in the product. GSA

A letter from the GSA to Xin An Safe Cement said, “In light of this, you are instructed to cease operation and production henceforth until the use of the approved raw materials.”

Corresponding letters were dispatched to the remaining two firms.

Prof. Dodoo clarified that feldspar and quartz were not advised as key cement elements and that some cement makers should immediately cease using them as such.

Official test results at Kumasi Cement Ghana Ltd. showed that limestone did not meet the standards for calcium carbonate content as required by GS 1118:2016 and gypsum did not meet the requirements for percent calcium sulfate as required by GS C22/C22M-00 (2015).

Similarly, tests conducted on samples obtained from Uniceme Cement Ghana Ltd. revealed that the limestone did not meet the required level of calcium carbonate, and analysis of the sample’s mineral composition revealed that it was feldspar.

In spite of the fact that feldspar is not a main ingredient that is advised for use in cement, the director-general said, “its use as a major constituent was problematic and unsafe.”

lowering the import of clinker

According to Prof. Dodoo, there are plans to build facilities that will use local resources to produce a clinker alternative, which will help lower the amount of clinker imported into the nation. Clinker is a crucial component in the production of Portland cement.

We have written a few articles explaining how we can replace a sizable amount—likely 50% of the clinker we use—with locally available alternatives. Prof. Dodoo remarked, “I am pleased to see that two giants are actually building a factory to produce this.”

He continued, “In the process of making cement, substituting calcined clay for clinker will have enormous environmental benefits.”

The manufacturing of cement is responsible for around 7.5% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions worldwide.

Prof. Dodoo clarified that using calcined clay to reduce the requirement for conventional, carbon-intensive clinker would be a significant step towards removing the harmful environmental impact of cement manufacture.

Sector aligned

When contacted, Rev. Dr. George Dawson-Ahmoah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chamber of Cement Manufacturers, Ghana (COCMAG), stated that the organization was working with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to create standards for the best possible environment, safety, and cement quality, as well as to fight unfair trade practices whenever they surfaced.

The country’s cement business would increase as a result, according to Rev. Dr. Dawson-Ahmoah.

Companies including Ghacem, Diamond Cement, Dangote Cement, CIMAF, Savannah Cement, Gyata Cement, and CBI Ghana are involved in the cement sector.

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