Jomoro chiefs support $60 billion petroleum hub project
The chiefs and people of the Western Nzema Traditional Area have endorsed the construction of the $60 billion petroleum hub project in the Jomoro municipality in the Western Region.
The project being managed by the Petroleum Hub Development Corporation (PHDC) is expected to create more than 780,000 jobs across various skill sets and foster local content development through the implementation of training programmes for artisans and graduates.
The operators of the hub have already set up a camp at Nawule in Jomoro and are upbeat about the project as a perfect move to fast-track the country’s industrialisation, sustainable energy, job and opening up the host communities and the country for oil benefits.
At a stakeholder engagement to update the host communities on the progress, the President of the Western Nzema Traditional Council, Awulae Annor Adjaye III, rallied support for the project and declared that Jomoro was ready.
He said the project had come too far to fail and that there were several attempts in the past for the establishment of the petrol chemical industry, but it did not materialise.
“With the current progress and commitment, I must say the project will need the support of all to ensure that it takes off and gets completed for the benefit of my people,” he said.
Awulae Annor Adjaye noted that the government had gone through the process for the compulsory land acquisition and stakeholder consultations, adding,
“As the President of the area, let me say no money has been paid to any chief or individual landowner for the 20,000 acres of land allocated for the project”.
The project, which has been allocated 20,000 acres of land in the Jomoro municipality, was expected to take off about five-years ago – but has been delayed due to the emergence of COVID-19.
The petroleum hub will sit on an area with a network of infrastructure for the processing of crude oil and raw natural gas into refined petroleum and petrochemical products, power generation.
The project also comes with a light industrial area, water and waste treatment plants, storage area, business centre, multi-purpose plants to produce lubricants, fertilisers and cosmetics, depending on the needs of the market and a well-planned residential and office accommodation.
The hub is also expected to have three refineries of 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) each, scalable up to 500,000 bpd by 2030/2035.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, commended the chiefs and people of the area for their commitment to ensuring that the project succeeded.
He said the government had gone through land acquisition for the project, “that was done through the compulsory acquisition and I can assure you that we are following the process to maintain the peace and harmony needed for the take-off,” the regional minister said.
“Those, whose lands are part of the area of interest have been contacted and we will make sure the best story of the petroleum hub is told when all is done,” Mr Darko-Mensah said.
The ministers urged the young people to sharpen their existing skills and acquire more technical skills in readiness for jobs during the construction phase and actual commencement of the project.
He commended the company for the regular interactions for the update towards the operationalisation of the hub, which would create another growth pole in the region for the country.
“We as a region that produce a chunk of the country’s resources, the time has come for us, the indigenes, Ghanaians, to start owning the projective assets in the region and support the development of the region and the country,” Mr Darko-Mensah stated.
The Chief Executive of the Petroleum Hub Development Corporation, Charles Owusu, said the team was committed to the project and had been working for the past five years towards its actualisation.
“We know the importance of the project to our country, communities and the municipality – job creation, redefining local content and we will work to actualise the dream of the government towards further enhancement of the country’s petroleum resources,” he said.
On land acquisition, Mr Owusu said the team and all other stakeholders would ensure that proper things were done, saying “We will not take any shortcuts to lead to problems in the future, but we will make sure we interact and give update information to people and work within the law”.
The Municipal Chief Executive of Jomoro,Louisa Iris Arde, said the municipality was ready for the project to take off and that the commitment and support from all stakeholders remained vital.
The MCE reminded the gathering that, in the past the siting of the Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) was earmarked for the municipality but ended up in the Ellembelle District.
“Today,we have another project,the construction of a petroleum hub – we must not allow it to slip through our fingers again,the assembly is committed to the cause and we will get it done,” she said.
The Deputy Chief Executive in charge of operations, Nana Ama Tima Boakye, in her presentation, said the project had started setting up temporary offices and accommodation for the team at Nawule in the municipality.