The Ghana Oil Company (GOIL) on Wednesday commissioned a $15 million Marine Gas Storage (MGS) facility, the largest in the country to improve the bunkering industry and the Ghanaian economy in general.
The 13.5 million litre capacity project consists of storage and dispatch of marine gas oil to upstream vessels, ships and FPSOs that would dock at the Takoradi Port and would no doubt contribute to the re-direction of ships and vessels to the Takoradi Harbour for fuelling and making Ghana the destination choice for vessels in the sub-region.
Mr Patrick Akpe Kwame Akorli, Group Chief Executive Officer of GOIL said the construction of the facility began in 2015 and is said to revitalize the Takoradi Port, energize general economic activity in the country’s energy sector.
He said: “With the oil find, vessels and ship activity was expected to increase in the country…we are ready to meet the oil needs of these vessels”.
He said despite the numerous challenges and the skepticisms over the ability of GOIL to undertake such a huge project…“the company had proven that given the right environment and leadership Ghanaian businesses could do better.
“The initial challenges never discouraged and hindered GOIL’s Board of Directors and Management’s determination to forge ahead with the project, GOIL’s investment is therefore a testimony that Ghanaian companies can rise to the occasion.”
Mr Akorli said GOIL marine gas tank farm had a motorised valves and automatic control systems for dispatching products to the vessels, three pumps to provide product at a flow rate of 250 cubic metre an hour, with additional extra lines to meet customer needs.
The project according to the GOIL Group CEO had a separator system to ensure any affluent from the tank farm was properly treated and fire-fighting system with foam and water.
The GOIL MGO facility, Mr Akorli added was of the highest quality and met international standard in terms of storage, distribution and safety adding, “the foundations of the project have been designed taken into consideration seismic movement at the harbor.”
The GOIL Group CEO expressed gratitude to Murray and Roberts, a South African Company engineering and construction firm and Viking Offshore for their excellent performance in the execution and management of the project within a record 18 months.
The $15 million facility was solely financed by GOIL through its internally generated funds; Mr Akorli therefore stressed the need for the patronage of the local goods; “When you patronise local goods and services and money generated stays in the country but if you buy foreign goods the money is repatriated back to their country of origin.
“We believe in the Ghanaian, we believe that some aspect, especially the retail aspect of the economy must be left in the hands of Ghanaians. That is the only way we can grow our economy and that is the only way to retain money in our economy.
“If everything is being done by outsiders, they make their money and take it away, how then do we retain our economy, circulate and generate the employment that our youth needs so much”.
Dr Amin Adams, Deputy Minister for Energy designated in an address on behalf of the sector Minister urged indigenous companies to continue to take advantage of the conducive business environment to grow and expand the economic.
“Government will soon formalise the local content policy on downstream industry activities and so companies such as GOIL must embrace the policy and work with it to the latter for the total growth of the economy and the industry at large,” he said.
Ghana is expected to make gains from this project since it will cut down on the volume of foreign exchange which goes into the importation of the MGO.
Professor William Asomaning, Board Chairman of GOIL said the project would positionit as an important player in bunkering business, redirect significant volume of business activity in the sector to the Takoradi Port and help the GOIL to recoup investment and increase revenue of the port as well.
He mentioned the completion of similar facility at the Sekondi naval base to provide 4000 litre to benefit from the huge trade in marine gas 60 per cent of which was done offshore presently.
Nana Kobina Nketsiah, V Omanhene of Essikado traditional Area said the feat chalked by GOIL demonstrated how determination and “can do spirit” propel an individual or country into development and urged them to fly the flag of Ghana even higher.