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SG signs landmark transaction to finance low-carbon cement plant for CBI Ghana

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Societe Generale Group, having successfully played key roles in the financing of two Greenfield Cement Production Plants in Ghana has partnered with the Danish Export Credit Agency – Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF) to finance the first Green Cement Production Plant in Ghana, thanks to a pioneering technology developed by FLSmidth A/S.

The financing of this project was arranged and funded by Societe Generale Group, acting through its Development and Structured Export Finance, Structured Finance Group and Societe Generale Ghana. The Project is financed by two hybrid credit facilities valued at USD 51,920,000 and benefitting from a 10-year maturity.

This financing, which is the first EKF backed loan arranged by Societe Generale in Africa, is categorized as “Green” as the Project is eligible under the category of “Energy efficiency / Eco-efficient adapted products”.

SG signs landmark transaction to finance low-carbon cement plant for CBI Ghana

The new Clay Calcination Project being undertaken by Continental Blue Investment Ghana Limited will enable the substitution of imported clinker with locally sourced clay, thereby reducing significant carbon emissions and providing cost advantage towards competition. The financing of this infrastructural project and the use of this technology (calcined clay) for production of cement with less emission of CO2 is in line with Societe Generale’s “Grow with Africa” initiative. This financing further demonstrates the bank’s commitment to innovation and sustainability, fulfilling its mission to support its cherished clients in their transition towards a greener future.

“Using clay as a supplement in the cement production is not new – it has been done for decades. But, with our new clay calciner system, we can produce a highly reactive clay that is able to substitute between 30-40% of the clinker in the final product, resulting in up to 40% CO2 reductions per ton of green cement compared to traditional OPC cement,” says Carsten Riisberg Lund, Cement Industry President, FLSmidth.

SG signs landmark transaction to finance low-carbon cement plant for CBI Ghana

“Ghana is the perfect location for using clay as an environmentally friendly alternative to clinker,” says Frédéric Albrecht, CEO at Continental Blue Investment Ghana Ltd.

He continued; “West Africa is traditionally a clinker and cement importing region due to the lack of suitable limestone reserves. Developing countries with their young populations and a growing need for infrastructure and housing represents the future in cement consumption. Calcined clay cements are the most sustainable alternative to traditional clinker-based cement. With the support from FLSmidth and our long standing financing partner Societe Generale, we will be able to operate clay calcination on a large scale.”

This transaction was made possible by the successful collaboration between Societe Generale Group as the Arranger and Original Lender, the Danish Export Credit Agency – Eksport Kredit Fonden as Guarantor and the Project Sponsors comprising Investment Fund For Developing Countries (IFU), The Norwegian Investment Fund For Developing Countries (NORFUND), FLSmidth A/S and De Simone Limited.

“The Grow with Africa initiative which aims to contribute collectively to the sustainable development of Africa in partnership with local territories and actors as well as international experts by establishing dialogue, listening and sharing innovative means and approaches has been clearly demonstrated with this transaction” says Mr. Georges Wega, Deputy Director of International Banking Networks for the Africa, Mediterranean Basin and Overseas Region (AFMO). “This success is the result of a strong and patiently built relationship with Continental Blue Investment Ghana Limited and the greater collaboration with all the key stakeholders” he concluded.

Societe Generale Ghana is one of the leading banks in Ghana with 40-networked branches and outlets across the country. The Bank provides Retail and Corporate clients with dedicated innovative products and services aimed at satisfying and anticipating customers’ needs.



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Government must complement monetary policy with sound fiscal measures – Economist

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Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has been urged to embark on comprehensive fiscal measures to complement monetary measures by the Bank of Ghana to restore economic stability and confidence.

Some financial observers have cautioned that investors will continue to shun government Treasury bills until the Finance Minister embarks on tight fiscal policy to bring down inflation, which hit 23.6 percent in April.

Speaking to Joy Business, Economist, Professor Lord Mensah, warned that investor confidence will continue to decline until inflation is stabilized.

“Government has been struggling to meet its target because the investor community has started shying away from short term investments, “Professor Mensah said adding that the uncertainties in the money market has made investors skeptical.

He stated for example that, investors are rationale business owners who always respond to activities in the market.

According to him, uncertainties create unpredictable future – a situation investors watch out for before committing their funds.

“Usually when uncertainties are so high in the system, most of the investors move their funds from the long term to the medium term. If the uncertainties continue to get deeper, they move their funds to the short term. If the investor is not comfortable at the short term then it means the economy is not doing well,” he explained.

He maintained that one of the major ways for judging confidence in an economy is to examine where and how investors are willing to invest their funds.

“With high inflation investors know that the value of their investment will be eroded. For me, the most important thing to do now is to work and bring inflation down”.



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Economy growing strongly, data suggests robust pick-up – Governor

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The Ghanaian economy is growing strongly despite the threat of rising inflation and the recent sharp volatility of the cedi, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison has pointed out.

According to him, data secured by his outfit so far indicates that the economy continues to rebound, irrespective of the challenges.

Speaking to Bloomberg ahead of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, which began yesterday, 18th May, 2022, Dr. Addison said he real sector of the economy has been resilient despite the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Ghanaian situation in a sense also reflects what happened in 2020 where the government took a very expansionary stance on policy. Therefore there were many interventions that was put into place in order to protect lives and livelihoods.”

“The impact of that was real sector being more resilient than we see in other places. As I said, we are beginning to see a pick-up in growth in 2021”, Dr. Addison emphasised.”

Indeed, sectors such as Information, Communications and Technology; Tourism and Hospitality; Manufacturing have bounced back, registering strong growth rates.

“Some of the data that has come in 2022 does not suggest that we are slowing down”, the Governor noted.

“I believe, if we were to choose between growth and inflation, the policy priority should be managing the pace at which prices are increasing”, he added.

Economy expanded by 5.4% in 2021 – GSS

Ghana’s economy expanded by 5.4% in 2021, far higher than the 0.4% recorded in the year 2020, a period that COVID-19 pandemic had severely hit the global economy.  

Without oil, the economy recorded a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 6.9%

According to provisional estimate by the Ghana Statistical Service, only 10 countries in Africa recorded growth rates higher than that of Ghana. They included Cote d’ lvoire and Uganda.

The strong growth rate was driven by the Services sector, particularly the Information, Communication and Technology (33.1%) and the Agriculture sector, such as Fishing (13.4%).

The Services sector recorded the highest GDP growth rate of 9.4% in 2021.



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Techno Genesis Ghana graduates the first batch of trainees under BiG entrepreneurship project

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The first batch of young individuals who signed onto the Believe in Ghana (BiG) project in Kumasi have graduated to venture into the creative arts and manufacturing industries.

The Believe in Ghana (BiG) project trains young aspiring entrepreneurs to take charge in the creative arts and manufacturing sectors.

Trainees are engaged in bakery and pastries, soap and bleach making, batik and tie and dye as well as beads making.

Techno Genesis Ghana graduates the first batch of trainees under BiG entrepreneurship project

Project originator, Tony Donkor, says the employment rate of the youth in Ghana needs to be addressed through such innovations.

“The project intends to raise a generation of knowledgeable youth who can take up the manufacturing space in order to secure a brighter future for the Ghanaian youth.

“The project intends to equip illiterate, semi-literate and literate persons with the skills set to secure a better future in the absence of a salaried job” he said.

The BiG project has seen partnership with the Centre for National Culture in Kumasi who created the avenue for individuals to be trained through localized methods.

Techno Genesis Ghana graduates the first batch of trainees under BiG entrepreneurship project

Deputy Director for Performing Arts at the Centre, Mustapha Issa, says locally-manufactured items need the necessary patronage to promote local industrialization and national culture.

According to him, “people often portray cultural products as fetish and they do not want to patronize it, but if we can reorient the definition of culture to ourselves, people can then appreciate it.”

He added that, “accepting the cultural values our products stand will bring great benefit from.”

Mr. Issa also advised that the country takes its cultural values seriously in order to preserve the rich heritage as a people.

He indicated that, “our music, movies and arts should represent our heritage, rather than degrading it.”

The first cohort of 15 trainees under the project shared their experiences on the impact.

“I work in a travel agency and we usually host events where attires are worn. I signed up to the project so I can learn how to make apparels to get the contract for myself and make some money as well,” said Doreen.

Another participant, Sumaila said “I am a musician and I wanted to add a clothing line to it, so I enrolled to learn how to make batik Tie and Dye. I can use the technique to create my own brand in addition to the music I do”.

Techno Genesis Ghana graduates the first batch of trainees under BiG entrepreneurship project

The BiG project intends to train over 10,000 persons in the Ashanti Region and further extend to other regions of the country.

The Believe in Ghana Project is under the operation of Techno Genesis, in partnership with The Multimedia Group, Kumasi and the Centre for National Culture, Kumasi.



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