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IFU and Norfund invest $27.9m in CBI Ghana

Staff writer
April 19, 2022, 8:14 p.m.
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IFU and Norfund have invested $27.9m in Continental Blue Investments Ghana (CBI), a producer of cement in Ghana that operates a 550,000 tons p.a. facility outside Accra in southern Ghana.

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IFU and Norfund have invested $27.9m in Continental Blue Investments Ghana (CBI), a producer of cement in Ghana that operates a 550,000 tons p.a. facility outside Accra in southern Ghana.

The cement is sold under the brand name Supacem for commercial, industrial and residential construction projects, as well as complex infrastructure. 

Naana Winful Fynn, Regional Director for West Africa for Norfund, said: “We are excited to partner with and support CBI’s leadership team, its Board and its existing investors, and look forward to actively working with these stakeholders and our co-investor partners IFU and FLS to support this proactive company in their market-leading effort to reduce carbon emissions in an essential sector for development – cement manufacturing. The added benefits of job creation and import substitution for Ghana are of great importance to us as well.” 

The new investment supports CBI’s plan to almost triple the production to 1.4 metric tons annually.

As the production of cement is one of the heaviest global emitters of carbon, the investment includes the building of a 405,000 tons per annum clay calcination unit, which is the world’s largest calciner system to date. 

The purpose is to use locally sourced calcined clay instead of imported clinker, which is a major contributor to the high emissions from the production process.

The substitution will lead to a reduction of carbon emissions by up to 20% per ton cement produced without compromising the quality of the product.

Including the sale of calcined clay to other cement producers in Ghana, the total avoided emission is expected to be close to 30% compared to current production technology. 

The introduction of calcined clay in the production of cement supports the green transition and is in line with the EU green taxonomy, that sets an upper limit for  CO2 emissions intensity. 

“The production of cement is a very large contributor to global carbon emissions, but the product is also indispensable when it comes to developing infrastructure, including wind parks, for example. With this investment we support the green transition by reducing the carbon footprint whilst increasing locally produced cement that will contribute to Ghana’s further development,” Torben Huss, CEO of IFU, said.
The Danish company FLSmidth will deliver the technology and equipment for the expansion of CBI’s production as well as the clay calcination unit.

CBI expects both financial and environmental return on the investment from lower CO2 emissions, energy and fuel saving and reduced cost from clinker imports. 

“Ghana is the perfect location for using clay as an environmental alternative to clinker,” said Frédéric Albrecht, CEO at CBI Ghana.

“We are witnessing an increasing demand for cement in the region, but low-quality limestone has previously forced us to import clinker. With the help from FLSmidth, we can now increase our capacity without compromising on the environment,” Albrecht added.

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