Government requires 50 billion dollars to establish a petroleum hub in Ghana, Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko has disclosed.
The Energy Minister asserted that government is responsible for raising 5 billion dollars, which is 10% of the investments, for basic infrastructure development.
This, he admitted, has necessitated the need to create the conducive environment to attract investors.
In August 2017, Mr Agyarko delegated a task force to develop an infrastructural master plan and roadmap for the realization of this vision.
According to the report from the task force, interactions with stakeholders and investors suggested that the establishment of a petroleum hub in Ghana is feasible.
“The task force estimates that over 50 billion dollars of investments will be required to build the relevant infrastructure from public and private investments. Government is required to raise 10% of this investment to provide basic public infrastructure like road networks, electricity, water etc. needed at the hub. Considering that over 50 billion dollars of investment funds will be required to make this vision a reality, we need to carefully consider the strategies and the enabling environment needed to attract such investments for the project,” he stated.
Though conceding that majority of the investments for the petroleum hub would be foreign-based, Mr Agyarko advocated the need for balance between foreign and local investors to ensure value retention in the country.
“There are various options under consideration including public-private partnerships for the provision of the basic needed infrastructure at the hub. Obviously, the bulk of the investment required is going to be foreign direct investments but we will need to strike a fine balance between FDIs and local participation to ensure that there is significant value retention in the country,” Mr Agyarko opined.
He also called on petroleum industry players to upgrade their skills and businesses so as to play a role in government’s vision of making Ghana a vibrant petroleum hub in Africa.
Though optimistic about the increasing investor interests in Ghana, Mr Agyarko bemoaned the challenges associated with financing new refineries.
“Today, financing for new refineries has become difficult to obtain especially as some refineries across the world are being shut down due to low margins. But I believe that with the right strategy and value proposition coupled with the right environment, investors will choose Ghana and partner with us to develop infrastructure such as refineries, tank farms, pipelines, marine facilities for expanding our export capabilities and other allied facilities required to make our hub a reality,” he added.
The proposed petroleum hub would accelerate the growth of Ghana’s petroleum downstream sub-sector.