The desire by the Takoradi Port to become the oil hub in the West African sub-region has received a major boost with the commencement of the construction of a modern marine gas oil tank terminal to serve as a supply point for vessels calling at the port.
The 4.5-million capacity marine gas oil tank farm project, being financed by the Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL), will serve as a bunkering terminal which will berth import tankers with bunker fuel for vessels at the Takoradi Port.
With the unavailability of such services at the Takoradi Port, visiting vessels have had to travel to Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire for bunkering services.
The bunker industry refers to the supply chain segment that provides fuel for vessels.
The project, being undertaken by a South African construction firm, Murray and Roberts, is expected to begin commercial operations by the end of 2016.
The acting Director of the Takoradi Port, Capt. Ebenezer Afedzi, and officials of Goil who conducted an inspection tour of the project site indicated that the facility, apart from being able to raise revenue for Goil and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), would also reduce the operational cost of shipping companies.
“A lot of vessels are knocking on the doors of the GPHA to be able to carry out bunkering services at the Takoradi Port and we hope the contractors working on the project will be able to finish on time,” he said.
The facility, he said, would offer huge business prospects that could lead to the creation of a bunkering industry in the country.
He expressed the hope that the completion of the project would see Ghana providing bunkering services at competitive prices to vessels calling at the various ports across the West African sub-region.
Capt Ebenezer Afedzi (left) with JD Van Zyl (2nd left), the construction Manager for Murray and Roberts, and some officials of GOIL at the facility.
The Technical and Special Products Marketing Manager at GOIL, Mr J.B. Tagoe, who took the director round the facility, indicated that the quality of marine gas oil to be supplied to vessels would not be compromised.
“We will provide the vessels the same high level quality that we give to our clients to ensure we become a one-stop port where vessels would always want to be serviced,” he noted.
“GOIL is poised to take over the bunkering business in the West African sub-region and quality would be key in our operations,” he said.