Minister inaugurates PHDC Board

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe
Dr. Mathew Opoku-Prempeh (left), the Minister of Energy, inaugurating the first governing board of the petroleum hub project
Dr. Mathew Opoku-Prempeh (left), the Minister of Energy, inaugurating the first governing board of the petroleum hub project

The Minister of Energy, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, has inaugurated the maiden governing board of the Petroleum Hub Development Corporation (PHDC), the first time the more than five-year-old petroleum hub project has been given flesh from the drawing board to reality.

The nine-member board, chaired by the Paramount Chief of the Western Nzema Traditional Area, Awulae Annor Adjaye III, has been charged to implement strategies to facilitate the transformation of the country’s upstream petroleum sector.

Inaugurating the board yesterday, Dr. Prempeh said the project was one of the government’s strategic anchor initiatives that would boost the petroleum downstream sub-sector and serve as a pillar of growth for the Ghanaian economy.

The first phase of the $50-billion integrated project will sit on a 20,000-acre land in the Jomoro municipality in the Western Region, where natural gas will be processed into various by-products, including ammonia, fertiliser and other petrochemical products.

It also comes with four oil refineries, two oil jetties, storage tanks for crude oil and two petrochemical plants.

The project, which is a private sector-led initiative, is expected to be completed by 2030.

Board members

Members of the board include two other nominees of the President — Maame Ofewah Sarpong and Mr. Samuel Erickson Abakah; the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the PHDC, Mr. Charles Owusu, and a representative of the Free Zones Authority (FZA), Mr. Kwame Asante Nsiah.

The rest are a representative of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Mr. Humphrey Ayim Darke; the CEO of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), Mr. Senyo Kwasi Hosi; a representative of the Ghana Upstream Petroleum Chamber, Mr. David Ampofo, and an expert in the downstream petroleum sector, Mr. Yaw Agyemang-Duah.

Value addition

Dr. Prempeh said the petroleum hub project was a top priority of the government because it would promote value addition along the downstream petroleum sub-sector.

That, he noted, would require active private sector involvement to enhance value addition.

"The petroleum hub initiative is a game changer, as it will accelerate the development of the downstream sector and ensure sustainable job creation,” he said.

Diligent work

Mr. Prempeh urged the board to be diligent and work towards achieving the government's vision of transforming Ghana into an exploration hub.

"There are huge expectations from this board, so you must bring your expertise to bear. You must work diligently to execute this project because if the agenda fails, it fails on the board; if it succeeds, it succeeds on the board, and your name will be written in gold," he said.

The minister also urged the PHDC Board to work in partnership with the regulatory bodies, such as the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the Petroleum Commission, the Energy Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to develop the hub without compromising the quality of the environment.

Board Chairman assures

On behalf of the board, Awulae Adjaye, who is also the President’s nominee, expressed gratitude to the President for the confidence reposed in the members.

He gave an assurance that the board would leverage the diverse expertise of its members to deliver on the mandate given them.

The PHDC Board Chairman also called on the minister to support the board to achieve its targets.