GHANA – The Ghana Rubber Estates Limited, (GREL) has opened a second rubber processing factory in Ghana under the 1 district 1 factory initiative.

The factory is in Ghana’s western region at a location known as Abura in the Ahanta West Municipality.

According to Ghana Web, the 24-million-euro (about US$26.51 million) project was constructed within a year and has the capacity to add value to about 75 percent of raw rubber produced by GREL.

Mr Jean Louis Billon, the Administrator of SIFCA (the parent company of GREL), revealed that the company had 32000 employees across its factories in Africa with GREL employing 4000 out of the number.

The new factory which was developed under the one district one factory initiative would also absorb 260 new staff as a means of creating jobs and empowering families in its operational area in the Municipality and beyond.

Mr.Billon said the company believed in sustainability and had therefore established strong bonds with its out growers and with the communities they operated in to enjoy more Community recognition.

In Ghana, GREL transacts business with 92 communities, creating direct and indirect jobs as well as investing in water, education and health under Social investment projects. So far, the company has invested three million Euros on social investment.

Mr. Robert Ahomka, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry said the new industrial transformation agenda by the ministry was to ensure that value was added to the many raw materials the country produced.

Ahomka urged the chiefs and people to support the company in creating wealth, jobs and ensuring economic empowerment of the local communities.

Mr Kobby Okyere Darko-Mensah, the Western Regional Minister said the opening of the factory was a testament to the vision and hard work of the management adding, “What they have been able to accomplish is remarkable by all standards local and international”.

The global demand for natural rubber has been consistently on the rise. Global consumption of natural and synthetic rubber, pegged at 12.3 and 16.8 million tonnes, respectively, in 2015, was and  is projected to reach 15 and 19.4 million tonne by 2020.

China, the United States, Japan, India and Germany are the main rubber consumers, accounting for 56.8 percent of global consumption.

Ivory Coast, which is the largest producer of rubber in Africa, produces 50 per cent of the total Africa production, while Nigeria produces only 11 per cent with Ghana producing about 20,000 metric tonnes.