Road construction: Lower cost by refining bitumen-rich crude in Ghana – GOIL Executive


The Head of Technical Services at oil marketing company, GOIL, Alphonso Okai Jnr, has blamed the high cost of bitumen used for road projects on the kind of crude imported into the country.

According to him, Ghana lacks the facilities needed to refine crude into bitumen, hence the high cost of the product.

“What happens is that it isn’t all crude that yields a lot of bitumen. Our refinery here imports crude but the crude that is imported is actually one that would not yield a lot of bitumen. We are getting it [the bitumen] from Cote d’Ivoire because they have a facility in their refinery that refines crude that yields a lot of bitumen. And with that, they supply almost the West Coast with bitumen.”

“So if we have a refinery that refines crude that can yield a lot of bitumen, definitely the price of bitumen will go down,” he explained to Bernard Avle on the Citi Breakfast Show.


The Ghana Oil Company (GOIL), with over 400 filling stations across the country, is expected to help reduce the cost of raw materials for road construction significantly with the establishment of a bitumen plant.

The plant, which is to be completed in September, is expected to have a storage capacity of 6,000 metric tonnes of base bitumen and will have a production capacity of 240 metric tonnes per day for each of the bitumen emulsion and the polymer modified bitumen plants.

Ghana presently imports bitumen from Cote d’Ivoire and Brazil for road projects. This reportedly costs the country an average of US$11.8 billion annually.

When questioned on how the crude being exported is not able to yield much bitumen, he explained, “It depends on the kind of crude. It depends on what you want. What we are importing actually yields a lot of Super, Diesel, etc. So it depends on the crude you’re importing. If you want crude that will yield a lot of bitumen, then you import that crude.”