TWO bodies have signed a US$30 million agreement to provide essential infrastructure services to manufacturing companies located in special economic zones in Ghana.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank Group, and LMI Holdings signed the agreement under which the company will receive a loan for the project.
Per the agreement, the loan is to support the company’s development plans in the two industrial zones (Tema and Dawa), providing dozens of firms within the LMI-operated zones with the essential infrastructure they need to increase their productivity and competitiveness.
Under the partnership, LMI will build a 16.8-megawatt rooftop solar plant that will power businesses operating in the Tema Free Zone (Tema FZ), on the outskirts of Accra, helping to contribute to Ghana’s climate agenda.
LMI will also build a water treatment and distribution plant, with an initial capacity to treat 4,000 cubic metres per day to serve businesses in the new Dawa Industrial Zone (Dawa IZ), also on the outskirts of Accra.
At the signing ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LMI Holdings, Kojo Aduhene, said as an indigenous Ghanaian company, LMI was committed to the task of facilitating the country’s industrialisation ambitions and boosting exports.
He said the partnership with IFC gave LMI the means and space to make big bets on Ghana.
He pointed out that power was essential to all business operations, noting that the solar project when completed would start off a renewable journey for power generation.
“We expect the solar project to be completed and operational by October 2023 and the water project six months after that,” he stated.
On the way forward, he said LMI had other projects in the pipeline, key amongst them being the expansion of the yet-to-be-completed solar and water projects and the establishment of another economic zone at Yapei in the Savannah Region.
“The water project will have to be expanded. After the initial study, we found out that there is a great need for water so we will be looking at expanding the capacity of that plant. The ultimate capacity of that plant will be 110,000 cubic metres of water per day.
“On the solar side, the goal of LMI is that, by the year 2030, we will be generating a 1,000 megawatt of power. One thousand megawatt is the capacity of the Akosombo Dam as it is now so by the year 2030, we will be generating from solar what Akosombo is currently generating,” he stated.
“We have also cut sod for the construction of another economic zone in the Savannah Region. We believe this will help in the industrialisation drive in the north,” he added.
Mr Aduhene noted that together, the over 100 manufacturing companies in the two economic zones had generated over US$4.3 billion for the Ghanaian economy.
For his part, the Senior Country Manager of the IFC, Kyle Kelhofer, said the projects demonstrated how the private sector could bring effective solutions to development challenges and support job creation.
He said through this investment, the IFC was supporting Ghana’s industrialisation ambitions for a greener and more sustainable future.
He said LMI’s solar plant in Tema FZ, compared with current thermal power on the national grid, was expected, together with the water plant, to reduce Ghana’s emissions by approximately 10,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually.
He noted that the water plant would be Ghana’s first private production of reliable, high-quality water for industry.
“Over the last decade, IFC has provided over $4 billion in financing and advisory services to Ghanaian companies in sectors, including agribusiness, education, energy, health care, financial services, manufacturing, retail, tourism and transport,” he stated.