Cape Coast, June 4, GNA – The Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurance has inspected the abandoned Elmina Fish Processing Plant in the Central Region to ascertain the challenges and find sustainable solutions to them.
The Plant, constructed by Expotec International Limited of India at a cost of $7.8 million, with funding from the EXIM Bank of India, had been abandoned after it was commissioned in 2016.
The delegation, led by the Chairperson of the Committee, Madam Patricia Appiagyei, and the Ranking Member, Mr John Kwabena Bless Oti, paid a visit to the facility as part of their two-day working visit to the region to be abreast of activities in the fisheries sector.
Mr Enoch Boadu Amoh, a Director at the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, who conducted the members round, said after the commissioning in 2016, it was given out to a private person to manage for a while, but it was realised that the ice block chamber was not fit for purpose.
The Plant had an ice block making facility and 40 cubicles of cold storerooms.
He said before construction works started, an effluent treatment plant to treat the fish waste was not part of the design but because the contract that had already been signed, it was decided to go ahead with the project and later add the effluent treatment plant in phase two.
“The discussion was that they would refurbish the system under phase two so as to process more fish. But it had been back and forth,” he said.
In 2020, officials from the EXIM Bank of India visited Ghana to inspect the project and later came back in 2021, when they asked the Ministry to submit a proposal for the second phase, Mr Amoh said.
After the proposal was submitted, the Fisheries Minister had to visit EXIM Bank in 2022 in India where it was agreed that the project would need a treatment plant and a warehouse.
He said without the effluent treatment plant, the Environmental Protection Agency would not allow the project to begin fish processing.
On the funding, Mr Amoh said the total funding was about $11 million with the plant costing $7.8 million.
“So with the about $2.63 million left, it was agreed that they could be able to do the outstanding work and get the facility running, » he said.
The delegation also toured the Anomabo Fisheries College to acquaint itself with the progress of work, where Mr Richard Abbey, the Consultant, told the members that work was almost completed and would be ready for use by the end of the year.
Mrs Appiagyei said the Committee was at the Elmina Fish Processing Plant to verify an assurance in 2021 by the Fisheries Minister that the Ministry was leaving no stone unturned to revive the Plant.
However, up until now, they had not seen the realisation of that assurance, she said.
Mrs Appiagyei noted that the Committee would have to invite the Minister to make a statement on the state of the Plant.
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