Leading fast-moving consumer goods manufacturer Wilmar Africa has opened its new state-of-the-art detergents manufacturing plant in response to increased domestic and regional demand for the commodity.
The new detergents plant will provide about 220 direct employment and would boost government’s efforts at import substitution, especially in sectors with local capacity for value addition.
Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyeremanten, who inaugurated the new factory, said that the facility signaled a giant step in the nation’s industrial transformation agenda as the manufacturing hub of the continent and a good testament to the strategic partnership between government and the private sector.
“Government recognises the relevance of attracting private sector operators to invest in the productive sectors of the economy by taking advantage of available local resource endowments.
This state-of-the-art factory underscores the importance of such partnerships in pursuit of our common goals of creating jobs and bringing prosperity to our people,” he said.
He added: “Ghana is on the path towards a major industrialisation take-off and there could be no better time than now for this new industrial facility.”
Ghana imported soaps and detergent products worth US$40million last year whilst increased awareness about personal hygiene and care has driven up demand for household cleaning products.
With an installed capacity of 60,000 metric tonnes of soap annually, the trade minister tips the factory to help bridge the demand and supply gap in the soaps and detergents market—with national demand estimated at 100,000 metric tonnes.
“With the detergents market projected to register a cumulative 4 percent annual growth, this factory will flourish not only in Ghana but Africa as a whole, taking advantage of the single continental market,” he added.
Chief Executive Officer of Wilmar Oils and Fats Limited, Santosh Pillai, told Business24 that the factory fulfills the company’s quest to offer high-quality detergent products to Ghanaians whilst driving its distributions across the sub-region.
“Ghana is a strong and stable economy but we are looking beyond the domestic market into the West Africa sub-region.
We hope to leverage the strong local demand into the sub-region then we have a very viable opportunity of creating a manufacturing base in the country,” he said.
He added: “As manufacturers, we would love to see the creation of a level playing field for competition in terms of infrastructure, accessing to neighboring markets and differential treatments for the industry.”