Ghana’s Minister for Energy, John-Peter Amewu, has noted that the Petroleum Division of the West African country’s energy sector has seen increased growth of local firms from 2012.
He said by the end of 2016, 776 companies had registered with 480 being local companies, providing either direct or indirect services, ranging from catering services, logistics supplies to fabrication and waste management services.
He said the desire of government to develop indigenous capacity in the energy sector was to achieve about 51 per cent equity participation in wholesale supply and distribution in the electricity supply industry (ESI) in Ghana, with 60 per cent local content; and also develop capacity in the manufacturing industry for electrical cable, conductors and accessories, among others.
The Minister said this in a speech read on his behalf by his Deputy William Owuraku Aidoo at the opening of the 2nd Ghana Energy Summit organized by the Ministry of Energy, in partnership with the Business and Financial Times in Accra.
The theme was: ‘Harnessing Opportunities in Ghana’s Energy Sector-Making Local Participation a Practical Reality’.
The Summit, which opened on Tuesday in Accra, would provide an opportunity for the global energy industry, academics and students, interest groups, journalists, government officials and the public at large, to interact with one another in a non-partisan environment on significant regional, national and global energy issues.
The Energy Minister stated that the Procurement Plan, Technology Transfer Programme, Research and Development Programme, Employment and Training Schedule, Succession Plan and Allied Service Content of business entities in the ESI shall comply with the requirements of L.I 2354 and approved by the Commission.
He said to effectively achieve the above, a baseline study had been conducted on the ESI to measure the current state of local content and local participation in the sector.
Mr Amewu said a Universal Qualification System had been developed among others to facilitate registration by companies and also serve as an online database of companies.
He noted that, in spite of increased local participation in the sector, local companies were faced with numerous challenges, which ranged from lack of finance, human capacity development and technology, among others.
Mr Amewu said the limited capacities of local companies to deliver services required was due to the absence of infrastructure to support the development of the petroleum industry, which limited the volume of work to be carried out in the country.
“Ghana, therefore, needs her own unique strategy of technological progress, pursued with all seriousness if Ghanaians are to make any meaningful impact soon,” he added.
He suggested that investments made should lead to an increase in human capacity to promote skills training and retraining of staff.
Mr Isaac Osei, Managing Director of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), urged government to create the enabling environment for private entities to thrive, since that was the only way to build a robust and vibrant petroleum industry.
He said government should strengthen and expand the capacity and infrastructure of TOR to be able to add value to crude oil mined from the upstream.
Mr Kwame Jantuah, Chief Executive Officer, African Energy Consortium, said if the country did not change its political setup, politics would continue to interfere in the private sector and hinder it from successfully achieving its goals.
He said the success of the hub was dependent on the stock of crude oil the nation had, and that, it was important for government to consider the onshore Voltaian basin to feed the local oil refineries.