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We’ll make Ghana petroleum hub in sub-Region – President

By Ken
Sackey, GNA

Accra, July 06, GNA – President Nana Addo
Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Thursday, stated that his Government would strive to
ensure that Ghana becomes the petroleum hub in the Sub-region.

The Government would, therefore, pursue its
vision to establish a thriving petrochemical industry to guarantee sufficient,
reliable and affordable clean energy for power generation and supply to support
economic activities, and keep the country on the right path to desired growth.

The President was addressing a durbar after
turning on the valves on the Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessel
(FPSO) John Agyekum Kufuor to signal the formal production of oil in commercial
quantities from the Sankofa oil and gas fields in the Cape Three Points.

The symbolic ceremony was done offshore by the
President turning the production valve of the FPSO and opening a Subsea Well
Choke.

Major stakeholders in the oil and gas
industry, public officials and traditional leaders in the Western Region
attended the durbar with their people.  

President Akufo-Addo said the attainment of
the feat had been made possible by the consistent implementation of
sector-related policies and programmes aimed at creating the right business and
investment climate to ensure the rapid and continuous development of the
sector.

“It has been ten years since Ghana made the
historic discovery of oil and gas as a result of the bold and farsighted
policies of the Kufuor-led NPP Government,” he recalled.

“The then President played a truly seminal
role in the development of the nation’s oil and gas industry, and it is, thus,
befitting to have the OCTP FPSO christened in his honour.

“Indeed, the decision to restructure and
reorganise the operations of GNPC to make the Corporation focus on its core
mandate of exploring for oil and gas, and creating an enabling climate,
positively changed the operating environment.”

The President said it was the expectation of
the Government and Ghanaians that the Offshore Cape Three Point (OCTP) partners
would ensure the prudent management of the Sankofa oil and gas project to
achieve cost efficiency, as this was the only way low gas prices could be
guaranteed, and, eventually, low electricity tariffs to stimulate development.

“With the addition of the production from the
OCTP to those of the T.E.N and Jubilee fields, we are optimistic that our
beloved nation will enhance significantly its gas supply for our domestic power
generation,” the President said.

President Akufo-Addo said the Government would
collaborate with other licensees and contractors to ensure that the petroleum
resources were exploited in a sustainable manner for the benefit of the people
of Ghana.

“The need for creative thinking to leverage
our oil and gas production for national development is a charge for us to keep
– and we must not fail our people,” he emphasised.

“Ghanaians have the spirit of
entrepreneurship, and it is vital that they are empowered to engineer business
growth, and reduce the serious unemployment situation in the country.

“It is gratifying to see, this morning, our
young Ghanaians on the FPSO, trained to manage the hydrocarbon production and
processing from the Field as technicians and supervisors. I have been informed
by the Petroleum Commission that over 100 Ghanaians, representing nearly 60
percent, are involved in the operation and maintenance of the FPSO John Agyekum
Kufuor.”

This number, he explained, was in addition to
the many that worked in the conversion of the facility in Singapore, adding
that: “I saw them on the vessel, and salute them for their energy, enthusiasm
and commitment. They are excellent examples of Ghanaian youth.

“Indeed, more than US$1.8 billion worth of
contracts have been awarded to indigenous Ghanaian companies under this project.”

President Akufo-Addo, thus, urged ENI and its
partners to continue to work with the Petroleum Commission to move Ghanaian
participation to even greater heights.

Additionally, the second phase of the Sankofa
project would rely on the support services of small and medium enterprises
(SMEs) as part of the supply chain development, thereby creating opportunities
for new and existing businesses, he said.

“In particular, for those engaged in farming
and fishing, this project presents a great opportunity to a new market, as many
people employed under this project will need to be fed,” he noted.

He urged the youth to go into farming under
our Planting for Food and Jobs Programme, and other activities to take
advantage of the opportunity presented. 

The Sankofa project, and other existing ones
in the Western Region, the President expressed confidence, “will open up the
region for infrastructural development and consequent economic growth.

“This is in line with the grand plan of making
the Western Region a key growth pole for the country.”

GNA

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