Government wants to develop and position Ghana as a Petroleum Hub for the West African sub-region, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has announced.

The vision, which is one of government’s strategic anchor initiatives, will also lead to the establishment of the country as Petrochemical hub to supply refined Petroleum products. 

This is to meet the demands of the West African sub-region and eventually for the continent, and further develop Ghana’s Petroleum Downstream sub-sector, according to the Vice President.

The Vice President announced government’s intentions for the Petroleum sector when he gave the keynote address at the 2nd Edition of the Ghana International Petroleum Conference in Accra on Thursday.

Under the theme “Realizing the Vision of a Petroleum Hub”, the conference brings together industry leaders across the world to explore and discuss varied ideas and strategies that would ensure the achievement of Government’s vision.

Conference participants would also undertake a comprehensive review, after more than a decade of implementation, of the deregulation policy to determine if the intended objectives of the policy have been achieved.

“Government has a vision to develop Ghana as a hub for refined petroleum products for the West Africa sub-region and the continent.

"The concept of a ‘Petroleum Hub’ is one of Government’s strategic anchor initiatives that would serve as a new pillar of growth in the Ghanaian economy,” Dr Mahamudu Bawumia stated.

“The project will accelerate the growth of Ghana’s petroleum downstream sub-sector and make it a major player in the economy and consequently ensure the development of sustainable value, wealth creation and the progress of industry.”

Vice President Bawumia explained that a successful implementation of the project would, apart from creating employment, have immense benefits for the players in the industry as well as the nation as a whole.

“The Petroleum Hub project will increase the presence of major international oil trading and storage companies, create regional trading champions and encourage joint ventures between local and international companies for knowledge transfer and wealth creation. It will provide value addition in our petroleum industry,” he added.

Alluding to the expected increase in Ghana’s refining capacity, Vice President Bawumia urged local industry players including Petroleum Service Providers (PSPs) and Bulk Oil Distributors (BDCs) to re-examine their business models to take advantage of the expected increase in business and take the necessary steps, including possible mergers and acquisitions, to position themselves to become multinational operators.

“The development of a hub in Ghana will require an increase in the country’s refining capacity beyond current levels, both to meet domestic demand and for export.

"It is therefore important that our PSPs especially the BDCs change their business model to respond to the hub plans, as there would be more products for export than their current model of importing the shortfalls in production.”

The two day Conference is being attended by key stakeholders including Minister for Energy, Hon Boakye Agyarko; Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority, Hassan Tampuli; as well as the heads of Bulk Distribution Companies and Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).