The Government of Ghana is set to create an offshore Bunkering zone to aid liquid cargo business as a means of refuelling and maintenance for vessels, Minister of Energy, Boakye Agarko has said.
He said the designated ship to ship and Bunkering zone is to be created outside the Tema and Takoradi ports.
Mr Agyarko was speaking at the 10th Oil & Shipping Africa Conference in Accra.
He said Ghana is still a destination of choice for bunkering activities and is widely considered around the world to be one of the best countries in which to conduct bunkering activities in West Africa.
Mr Agyarko said this has been bolstered by the construction of GOIL’s 13.5 million litres marine gas oil storage facility at the Takoradi Port and its 4 million litre storage facility at the Sekondi Naval base to ensure regular and reliable supply of products.
He said, “Central to our plans to build a petroleum hub in Ghana is our ability to provide a regulatory environment that ensures investors of safety and security against piracy and other maritime crimes.
The Government is, therefore, to create designated ship to ship and Bunker zones outside Tema and Takoradi ports to regulate and safeguard Ghana’s future liquid cargo business.”
Mr Agyarko added that the Bunker zone will include Anchor and Drifting zones to reduce the risk of piracy during some bunkering operations and improvement of maritime security.
“These Bunker Zones that will include both Anchor and Drifting zones, will ensure a drastic reduction in the risk of piracy during offshore bunker operations, improve maritime security, enhance collection of tariffs, curb illegal fuel smuggling, adulteration of fuel and unscrupulous blending fuels maintaining thereby, higher standards of fuel quality in our region and improve on regulatory monitoring and compliance,” he said.
He said the Ministry together with relevant stakeholders to implement the plans “My ministry will continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders including the Ghana Navy, NPA, the Ghana Maritime Authority, the Maritime Police and EPA to ensure the smooth implementation of these plans.”
The Maritime Week Africa is the biggest and most popular Bunkering/Marine Fuels event in Africa. This is also its 10th anniversary and the 5th time the conference is being hosted in Ghana.