|Alex Mould (L), CEO of GNPC, Nii KoreaAmasa, FPSO Construction|
The Ministry of Energy has successfully brokered a deal with Singaporean authorities that will allow Ghanaian engineers and technicians to partake in the building of the country's second Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel.Under the agreement, 15 engineers and 40 technicians will be trained for them to return to Ghana with the second FPSO in the last quarter of 2015.
The engineers and technicians would manage the FPSO when it begins the commercial production of oil in 2016.
Ghana's engineers and technicians, who have since been granted six and 12 months permits, respectively, to undergo training, will understudy their counterparts in Singapore to build the FPSO, which has been named after the late President J.E.A. Mills.
“The government had in the past found it difficult to convince the authorities of Singapore to permit its engineers to actively participate in the construction of its first FPSO, but we are happy the deal has finally been brokered,” the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, told the Daily Graphic in an interview after he had held talks with Singapore’s Second Minister for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr S. Iswaran.
Mr Buah said per the arrangement, Ghana's engineers and technicians would be on board the FPSO when it sets sail to Ghana in the last quarter of 2015.
He was accompanied by journalists, the General Manager of Tullow Oil Ghana Limited, Mr Charles Darku, and other government officials to inspect the progress of work on Ghana’s FPSO.
It would be delivered in the last quarter of 2015 and it is expected to produce 80,000 barrels of oil a day on the Tweneboa-Enyenra Ntomme (TEN) oilfields at the beginning of 2016. Tullow Oil plc is the operator of the TEN oilfields.
Expressing joy at the turn of events, Mr Buah expressed appreciation to the Singaporean government for playing a part in Ghana’s effort towards becoming an oil and gas hub in the sub-region.
He highlighted measures the government was implementing to ensure that the selected engineers and technicians were bonded to guarantee their return to Ghana to work, after the completion of their training.
Commending Ghana for its sterling democracy, Mr Iswaran said although his government was tightening its laws relating to the relationship between companies in Singapore and their business partners, Ghana had been given that special dispensation because of its strong diplomatic ties with Singapore.
He said Singapore was also interested in contributing its quota to the development of the Ghanaian economy.
Mr Iswaran commended Mr Buah for his leadership role which, he said, had resulted in the setting up of various bodies to give impetus to local companies in the oil and gas sector.