The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) is hosting the establishment of the first major Foundry and a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine tools Centre in Ghana on its premises.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo laid the foundation stone for the centre expected to make metal castings possible.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, in a short statement said the facility was fully funded by the Government of Ghana, and was expected to be completed within nine months, with the potential to be among the greatest legacies of President Akufo-Addo for Ghana.
He said the facility, would facilitate cutting-edge research in foundry technology to provide new materials and processes for Ghanaian industries to remain competitive, while producing metal cast products, especially from aluminium, that could be sold both locally and internationally, particularly to immediate neighboring countries.
The Sector Minister explained that “we will develop molds that will improve the manufacturing of machine parts for the automobile and manufacturing industries and agro-processing implements to support the Government’s initiative on One-District-One-Factory.”
Professor Frimpong-Boateng, indicated that when completed, Ghana would also be in the position to modernise the metal recycling units of many small-scale foundries, and that the Ministry would collaborate with the Association of Ghana Industries, to train personnel on new materials and processes.
Professor Benjamin Jabez Botwe Nyarko, the Director-General of GAEC, said the Commission, deemed the project on its premises as another important milestone in its history, and acknowledged the massive initiative of the Ministry and the Sector Minister, for showing true leadership and commitment towards improving science, technology and innovation for national development.
The Director-General said it was revealing and refreshing that the foundry was being established at a time when the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme (GNPP) had chalked a significant milestone, with the Phase One Programme Comprehensive Report submitted to the seat of Government.
He said as the country progressed with its Nuclear Power Programme (NPP), it would become imperative to acquire the required equipment and to build the appropriate local technical competencies in order to produce the needed replaceable parts for the nuclear power plants.
This, he said, would be important if Ghana wanted to stay relevant and active in the nuclear industry, adding that, the issue of localisation and industrial involvement was of prime importance not only to the GNPP, but the International Atomic Energy Agency.
According to Prof. Nyarko, for Ghana to fully rake in the benefits of a nuclear programme, the local industries must be well equipped to support the nuclear industry, thus the establishment of the Centre presented a good basis for building local competences in the manufacturing and industrial sector that could support the nuclear industry.
He said foundry technology had proven to be important in developed economies, and would be very crucial in Ghana’s efforts to develop her manufacturing industry and expand the economy.
“It therefore holds great promise of opening new research areas and opportunities for the casting industry, and for the development of our young generation of scientists and artisans,” he said.
Prof. Nyarko, also said in addition, the mechanical workshop of the Commission, which had over the years, built underground fuel tanks for oil companies like GOIL, could take advantage of the Centre, while complementing techniques and processes at the foundry.