GOIL PLC is gearing up to enter the West African bitumen market by introducing innovative products, specifically polymer-modified bitumen (PMB) and bitumen emulsion, as part of the company’s ongoing diversification efforts.
The company commenced bitumen production in the last quarter of 2022 after successfully constructing a bitumen terminal and production facility in Tema, Greater Accra Region.
The US$45million project is a joint-venture between GOIL PLC and Société Multinationale de Bitumes (SMB) from Côte d’Ivoire.
In an interview with the B&FT, Kwame Osei-Prempeh, Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director-GOIL PLC, stated that the priority is to meet the local market’s needs at the moment.
Currently, the leading oil and gas marketing company operates from a shared depot with SMB -importing bitumen from Côte d’Ivoire and subsequently processing it into bitumen emulsion and PMB. However, its ultimate goal, Mr. Osei-Prempeh noted, is to establish GOIL’s own bitumen processing facility similar to SMB’s.
“Our long-term vision involves constructing a plant right here in Ghana, capable of manufacturing bitumen. This strategic move will position us as direct competitors in the West African market, where SMB currently holds a dominant position. Notably, SMB lacks the capability of producing PMB and Emulsion, which gives us a unique edge,” Mr. Osei-Prempeh stated.
“If you’ve had the opportunity to visit our site, you may have noticed that we’ve designed it with expansion in mind. As we continue making strides in our journey, we anticipate that in the very near-future we will be able to extend our reach and serve neighbouring countries as well,” he added.
The facility has a capacity of approximately 7,500-8,000 metric tonnes per annum for both polymer-modified bitumen and bitumen emulsion.
“Some of the contractors who purchased our products have testified that it is among the best globally. Therefore, if we can capture the Ghanaian market and generate more revenue, we will have the opportunity to expand into other West African markets,” he emphasised.
Significant presence through PMB
Alphonso Okai Jnr., Head-Technical Services, added that the goal is to establish a significant presence in the West African bitumen market through the PMB product.
Polymer-modified bitumen (PMB) is a method of enhancing bitumen by incorporating polymers, and GOIL employs the styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) polymer in its PMB production.