Ghana to create Bunker Zones to regulate liquid Cargo business

By Joyce
Danso, GNA

Accra July 11, GNA – Mr Boakye Kyeremanteng
Agyarko, Minister of Energy says Ghana is preparing to create a designated
Ship-to-Ship and Bunker zones outside Tema and Takoradi Ports to regulate and
safeguard the country’s liquid cargo business.

According to the Minister, the Bunker Zones
which would include; both anchor and drifting zones, would ensure a drastic
reduction in the risk of piracy during offshore bunker operations, improve
maritime security, enhance collection of tariffs, and curb illegal smuggling
and adulteration of fuel.

To ensure the smooth implementation of
government plans, Mr Agyarko said relevant stakeholders would continue to

Mr Agyarko said this during the opening of
this year’s Oil and Shipping Africa conference in Accra. The two-day conference
is hosted by Ghana Oil Company (GOIL) in partnership of PETROSPOT Limited, a
United Kingdom based organisation formed part of Maritime Africa Week

The Energy Minister told the over 60
participants from Nigeria, Botswana, South Africa among others that Ghana was
preparing to meet the International Maritime Organisation global sulphur cap to
be enforced by January 1, 2020.

“We cannot gloss over the fact that we need
cleaner fuels to guarantee a better environment for all. We look forward to
achieving an 80 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions from ships by 2050.”

Mr Agyarko however urged stakeholders to avert
their minds to some of the consequences of the sulphur cap implementation,
which may include; higher bunker bills and the need for increased liquidity in
order to stay in business.

Additionally, he said the importance of higher
education in the maritime and shipping industry could not be taken for granted
and called for continuous education and training in recent and modern trends in
bunkering and maritime operations.

“Training and development is the guarantee for
sustaining the industry and the creation of more jobs.”

The Energy Minister further stressed the need
to trade ethically noting that it was the best way to ensure sustained growth.

He further appealed to participants to explore
issues such as “who takes care of the mariner when things go wrong at sea. “

Mr Agyarko said Ghana welcomed investments in
the form of technology transfer and capacity building through public-private
partnership within a strong local content environment.

“Investment in maritime and port facilities
will be further enhanced by our plan to develop Ghana into regional hub for
petroleum products that will encompass trading, transportation, refining and
storage in West Africa.

Central to our plan to build a Petroleum hub
in Ghana, is our ability to provide regulatory environment that assures
investors of safety and security against piracy and other maritime crimes.

He was happy that the recent International
ruling of the international Tribunal of Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in favour of
Ghana had seen the entry of Exxon Mobile and Aker Energy into the country.

Mr Agyarko said investment in maritime and
port facilities would further enhance plans to develop Ghana into a regional
hub for petroleum products that would encompass trading, transportation
refining and storage in West Africa.

“This mega project will provide opportunity
for increased activity by large medium and small vessels thereby facilitating
inter-regional trading in petroleum products.”


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