The Volta Aluminium Company Limited (VALCO) has said it is hopeful of concluding discussions with a strategic investor before the end of 2023.
The state-owned company is seeking a private capital injection to revamp its operations, having been granted the green light to do so by Cabinet and the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC), its parent company.
VALCO’s Board Chairman, Dr. Henry Benyah, has disclosed that a transaction advisor has so far been engaged and he is hopeful an agreement will be reached with an investor in the last quarter of 2023. He said the firm is looking at either a joint venture or direct participation.
“They [transaction advisor] are to manage the process of search and selection for a strategic partner with the requisite technical capacity to deploy the most competitive smelter technology, backed by the needed investments and strategic global linkages in consideration of an agreed equity stake in a restructured VALCO,” he stated.
Meanwhile, he said VALCO has identified some product-value maximization and a host of cost-reduction initiatives to make its operation sustainable in the short-term while working to implement the recovery plan’s final phase.
Dr. Benyah made this known at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) in Accra, and added that efforts are being made to position VALCO as a key player in the aluminium downstream value chain.
This aligns with the VALCO Modernization Project – dubbed Project 4 under GIADEC’s Integrated Aluminium Industry (IAI) project master plan currently under execution.
The smelter firm is seen as a critical component in the country’s quest to develop an integrated aluminium industry, with emphasis on value addition under the GIADEC master plan. The plan has VALCO as its heartbeat, according to watchers, and has the potential to transform the economy if followed to the letter.
The company believes that incorporating downstream activities into its operations, as all globally competitive smelters have done, would make its operations more viable.
VALCO also recognises the fact that the future of aluminium is ‘green’; and is therefore positioning itself through various environmentally-friendly initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint as a net carbon emitter and a green aluminium smelter.
The company is banking its hopes on a five-year strategic/recovery plan, 2020-2024. The plan emphasises maintaining operational stability as it transitions to the ‘retrofitted VALCO’ to ensure a sustainable turnaround.
VALCO’s Chief Executive Officer, Dan Acheampong, noted that the company has come a long way from when it faced huge existential challenges to become a relatively stable and productive business; and the recovery plan will position the company so as to attract private capital participation.