Government won't lift scrap metal exports ban - Iddrisu


Government says it would not lift the ban on scrap metal exports to countries including China and India.  This follows a strong call from members of the Scrap Dealers Association of Ghana to reverse the ban.

"Government has no intention of reviewing the ban on export of ferrous scrap, and will enforce LI2201 its letter and script religiously," the Minister of Trade and Industry, Haruna Iddrisu, stated.

According to the scrap dealers and exporters, the ban had resulted in a loss of thousands of Ghana Cedis.

But, at a stakeholders meeting with the Scrap Dealers and Exporters Association and Steel Manufacturers Association, Mr. Iddrisu indicated that the law was passed to protect the local steel industry and prevent its collapse.

He indicated that "government will ensure that scrap materials are available for local skill, steel industry and the foundries, in order that they will be able to increase their productive capacity, and to have the raw materials to operate.

Ghana has joined nations in the sub-region which banned the exportation of ferrous scrap metals in order to feed their respective local steel industries.  The nation achieved this feat when, on March 25, 2013, Parliament passed on the law to make it an offence to export ferrous scrap metals.

This means that Ghana has joined Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Cameroun and Zimbabwe to ban scrap metals.

The scrap metal bill, which was passed recently, is expected to set up a monitoring team to check the illegal exportation of the banned metals.

Reports are that, at least 2,000 more workers are going to be employed in the industry.  The nation, we gathered, is also going to save foreign exchange on the importation of billets from outside.

Ferrous metals contain iron and have properties that prevent corrosion.  They often contain slight quantities of other metals, or other elements which produce the required properties.

Globally, ferrous scrap metals are used for engineering purposes, and for the manufacture of cutlery, surgical instruments, engine blocks, and manholde covers.

In Ghana, ferrous scrap metals, which include steel and their alloys, are mostly obtained from obsolete machinery or equipment, household steel products, and packaging materials.

Other sources of the metals include metal waste, which contains iron, carbon, chromium, manganese, nickel, molybdenum, wolfram, silicon and vanadium.

Research has shown that the country's scrap generation is enough to meet the demand of existing industries.  In 2001, about 110,000 tonnes of scrap metals were found to be available in the country.

There are several large scale steel manufacturers in the country, such as Tema Steel, Western Castings and Western Steel and Forgings, which utilise ferrous scrap metals as their primary raw materials.

Also, there are several small scale metal fabrications in the country, such as those located at Suame and Kokompe in Kumasi and Accra respectively.  These companies provide direct and indirect employment to a significant number of people in the manufacture of metal gates, coal pots, and metal chairs, among others.

Notwithstanding the enormous contribution of these companies in the economic development of the country, steel companies continue to be deprived of the needed raw materials, and this compels them to operate below capacity, due to the inadequate supply of the raw materials in the country.

This situation is as a result of the uncontrolled export of large volumes of scrap metals out of the country.

Source: The Chronicle
Date: Thursday May 16, 2013

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