Since the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities in Ghana, government has, over time, been working feverishly to ensure that the country fully benefits from the blessings of what has been described as ‘black gold’.
One of the major projects it intends to undertake is the development of a petroleum hub for the West African sub-region.
A lot of work had been done in the past, but being one of present government’s strategic anchor initiatives, the hub project is expected to take off soon, leading to the establishment of Ghana as a petrochemical hub to supply refined petroleum products.
The aim is to meet the demands of the West African sub-region and eventually the entire continent and further develop Ghana’s petroleum downstream sub-sector.
The Cabinet has given approval for the establishment of the much-awaited petroleum hub in the Western Region to house all infrastructure projects in the petroleum industry.
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The hub will accommodate a refinery to process crude oil into various petroleum products and manufacturing plants for the processing of fertiliser from the by-products of oil.
The move by the government forms part of a major initiative to create more jobs in the oil and gas sector of the economy and provide investment opportunities for interested companies within and outside Ghana.
The hub, which is expected to cover an area of about 20,000 square kilometres, will be developed using the free zone concept.
The Minister of Energy, Mr John-Peter Amewu, who announced this at a luncheon organised by the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), Ghana in Accra last Friday, expressed optimism about the project.
The Daily Graphic would want to associate itself with the project, particularly at a time when more discoveries are being made by players in the oil and gas industry in the country.
As we know, the development of the hub will increase the presence of major international oil trading and storage companies, create regional trading champions and encourage joint ventures between local and multinational companies for knowledge transfer and wealth creation.
It will also provide value addition in our petroleum industry, which has become the toast of many major players in the industry across the world.
We are particularly excited about the fact that by-products from the oil will be used for the production of fertiliser to revive the agricultural sector.
This means that, unlike other countries which do not have use for the by-products from oil, Ghana will be in a better position to leverage the opportunity to increase food production for local consumption and for export to earn more foreign exchange to keep the cedi in check against the major trading currencies, particularly the United States dollar.
It is our hope that once the Cabinet has approved the project, the necessary protocols, which will include some approvals from Parliament, will be hastened to see the project taking off soon.
We fully believe that with determination and a great sense of purpose, the petroleum hub will be another feather in our cap and make the country a beacon of hope worthy of emulation.
In other jurisdictions, oil and gas find has brought about more hardships and turmoil because of mismanagement and greed.
Fortunately, much as there is still more room for Ghana to benefit more from its find, the development so far deserves commendation and we pray that this latest development will help accelerate the transformation of the economy to provide the needed jobs for the masses and revenue for the state.