As Ghana prepares to pump crude oil ashore from a new offshore oilfield, preparations have been announced to turn the port of Takoradi into an oil service hub.
According to Ben Owusu-Mensah, Director-General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, the approaching deadline is 2010, by which time the oilfield will be in production which means that preparations have to be put in hand. The oilfield is expected to produce 120,000 barrels of oil a day by late 2010 with output increasing to 250,000 barrels a day by the end of 2012.
Ghana has decided to concentrate on oil services in Takoradi, the Director General said, adding that container handling at the country’s main port of Tema will be doubled in response to the growing trans shipment of containers from neighbouring landlocked Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
The port of Takoradi handles the majority of Ghana’s bulk commodities including bauxite, manganese ore and loose cocoa beans. A dry dock and slipway has been built and the Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority has begun talks with interested parties in ship repair and related oil services.
Ghanaian politicians involved in forthcoming presidential elections have used the issue of Takoradi’s oil production to garner support in the region with promises of a huge upgrade of the port facilities. One of the contenders, Nana Afuko-Addo, the New Patriotic Party candidate said last month that it was essential that oil exploited in the region was exported through Takoradi rather than through the Ivory Coast or another neighbouring country.