The Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers Association (GOGSPA) has described the 5 Members Of Parliament bent on stopping the construction of the Atuabo Freeport project as detractors.
According to GOGSPA, the argument by the MPs that the new port will pose a security risk to Ghana is flawed because there will be a dedicated facility located at the port to oversee security.
GOGSPA insists the 1974 SOLAS Convention of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) which took effect on 1st July 2004; International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code would be applied at the Port.
The Minority MPs challenging the establishment of the Atuabo Free Port recently in a press statement dismissed media reports that the case has been thrown out on appeal.
They include, Obuasi West MP Kweku Kwarteng, Awutu Senya East MP, Hawa Koomson, Effia constituency Joseph Cudjoe and Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah.
The MPs are seeking a declaration for an Accra High court that some clauses in the agreement between the government of Ghana and a British company, Lonrho Ports, barring Takoradi Port from expanding further its facilities for oil and gas until Lonrho builds its freeport, recovers all its costs, and makes enough profit is illegal.
But the President of GOGSPA Nuertey Adzeman in an interview with Citi Business news said ,” Any action to hold back the development can only be detrimental to the many service providers the industry requires. As service providers, the new port will provide us with the opportunity to develop our capacity to service the industry not only in Ghana but in the wider regional market”.
He said the Atuabo Freeport project is a significant public private partnership aimed at creating a dedicated oil and gas port along the coast of Ghana to serve the emerging oil and gas industry.
“With the Atuabo Freeport, local content can be given a major impetus with an increase in Ghanaian participation in the percentage of locally produced materials, the number of local personnel, and the amount of goods and services rendered in the petroleum industry value chain”, Adzeman stressed.
He stated that the argument by the parliamentarians that they are seeking to defend Takoradi Ports and protect jobs of many Ghanaians working there cannot be justified.
According to him the Atuabo Freeport project is complimentary to that of Takoradi and will not displace any workers as being claimed because on the contrary, the new port will rather create more new job opportunities for Ghanaians.
He explained that, “Ghana is currently building a second FPSO for the TEN project and it is being done in Singapore with very limited Ghanaian participation. Given the oil discovery of our West Coast, Ghana is expected to have at least six FPSO’s in operation offshore Ghana. Fabrication work holds immense potential for service providers and the existence of a fabrication yard at the Atuabo Freeport will serve us well”.
By: Rabiu Alhassan/citifmonline.com/Ghana