Chief Executive of AI Energy Group, Abigail Harlley, has appealed to the Energy Ministry to initiate a tax incentive scheme for private sector investors that will express interest in partnering Government to establish the petroleum hub project in the Western Region.

She is optimistic that the move will attract more firms in the industry to support the project that has been touted as the biggest in Ghana’s oil and gas sector.

The project which is expected to be a Public Private Partnership is estimated to generate about 750,000 jobs for indigenous and international firms in the country.

“If you look at what happened in the Free Zones project, companies operating in the Free Zones were exempted from import duties as well as corporate tax. So these can also be introduced with regards to this petroleum hub vision. I think it will go a long way to help the private sector,” said Mrs Harlley Joy Business’ Ebenezer Sabutey.

She told Joy Business that entrepreneurs could then channel the monies accrued from the tax incentives into the oil and gas business as equity.

Managing Director of the Tema Oil Refinery, Isaac Osei also suggests that the project, though laudable, must be examined critically before execution.

He suggests the phasing out of the entire project.

“It shouldn’t be rushed. One step at a time, depending on the demand for the product that the hub will generate,” he said.

More on the petroleum hub project

The government rolled out plans to establish a petroleum hub in the Western Region in February this year.

The hub is expected to house major infrastructure for refining and processing, discharge, storage, distribution, transportation and trading of petroleum products.

The project is expected to position the country as a pivot for refined petroleum products in the West African sub-region and the world at large in the medium to long term.

The establishment of the petroleum hub is one of the government’s strategic anchor initiatives that would serve as a new pillar of growth in the Ghanaian economy.