"Many new players are joining the market, while those who have kept a low profile over the years are now resurfacing, stronger."
Could you briefly introduce Intertek’s presence in Ghana?
Intertek has been present in Ghana for over 30 years, developing strong partnerships with different supply chains. We provide innovative and bespoke assurance, testing, inspection and certification services. Intertek also provides calibration and metering services, petroleum and crude oil testing, draft surveys, agricultural inspections, mineral sample preparations, mineral assay services, and laboratory outsourcing. Our service offering to the mineral industry has expanded into various regions in West Africa including Burkina Faso, Guinea and Ivory Coast. Intertek has also won on-site laboratories contracts within the West Africa region and we have grown our testing capabilities at our Tarkwa lab to include metallurgical services.
Could you comment on the business performance over the last year and how do you observe the West African mining sector?
2020 will indeed be remembered as the year when we were challenged to rethink how we operate to make the world a safer place. Intertek’s services are deemed essential to supply chains, so our teams rallied together, prioritizing above all the health, safety, and wellbeing of our staff and customers alike. We are pleased to have noted significant mining activity since October last year. This was driven by higher commodity prices and the growing demand for metals used in the energy transition. Many new players are joining the market, while those who have kept a low profile over the years are now resurfacing, stronger. Exploration activity in 2021 is comparatively higher than 2020, which has translated into clients approaching for the first time, or returning after a long exploration break.
What do you think of Ghana’s potential to operate as a services hub for the region?
Ghana is a second-to-none jurisdiction in the region. When setting up a business in West Africa, companies will not only check Ghanaian assets, but also Ghanaian service capabilities. Other countries are getting the attention of investors, but it will be a long time before Ivory Coast or any other countries catch up with Ghana’s 100 years of experience and history. Our work in West Africa is supported by both our Ghanaian team and the Sub Saharan and Global network of laboratories.
Could you share Intertek’s approach to innovation?
As technology advances, demand for automation, digitalization, and integration is on the rise, which brings both challenges and opportunities. The key risks come from data security, where instances of malware or hacking have impacted many businesses. Intertek continuously develops our end-to-end suite of Cybersecurity services, helping customers identify and manage risks. Intertek also recognizes that digitalization brings ample opportunities for optimization and cost reduction, and we are prepared to offer remote inspection services when it is safe and practical to do so.
We launched a specialized software called “Interpret” to give our clients a tool to access vital data required to make informed decisions. This system allows to maximize output and save time and costs.
What is Intertek’s CarbonZero program and what is its potential uptake in West Africa?
The new Intertek CarbonZero program complements our previously launched Intertek CarbonClear program and can be applied to any phase of production, manufacturing, assembly or delivery, regardless of industry or supply chain configuration. CarbonZero delivers independent and traceable carbon-neutral certification for products and services.
Intertek CarbonZero certifies carbon neutrality achievements by combining emissions intensity certifications such as CarbonClear, together with certification of traceable high-quality carbon capture or reduction investments. This in turn enables companies worldwide to confidently market qualifying carbon neutral products and services, and stakeholders can invest securely knowing their Intertek CarbonZero-verified products have been independently certified to the highest standards.
Companies in West Africa understand that sustainability is more than complying with regulation. Sustainability boils down to a universal responsibility to protect the environment for future generations. We expect CarbonZero to be a valued service in the region.
What are Intertek’s objectives in the next few years?
There is a growing realization that global issues are interconnected, and the only way forward is by working together. Each of our services is specifically tailored to deliver our purpose of bringing quality, safety and sustainability to life. By sharing ideas and daring to think differently, but also by addressing sustainability and supply chain challenges, we can all emerge stronger.