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14.04.2012 Oil and Gas

Construction Boom At Takoradi- As Oil And Gas Service Providers Jostle For Land

By Graphic Ghana - Daily Graphic
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The Ahanta West District Assembly has secured its land area to protect it for its future generations. Samuel Doe Ablordeppey reports from Agona Nkwanta

The people of Ahanta West in the Western Region have taken a bold, forward-looking step to produce a geographic mapping of the district and designed an architectural layout for development, in anticipation of the construction boom occasioned by the discovery of oil and gas in the region.

The District Assembly, which is responsible for coordinating and implementing the exercise, has also developed softcopies of the designs for companies and other land developers to fit their projects in.

The District Chief Executive, Mr Joseph Dofoyena, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS at the Ahanta West District capital, Agona Nkwanta, that the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) sponsored the first two phases of the project, which included the spatial data collection and the designs.

He spoke to the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on the sidelines of a courtesy call on the district coordinating council by the management of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Ltd (BOST), which has secured a parcel of land from the people of Punpuni in the Ahanta West District for the construction of a Petroleum Terminal for the distribution of oil and gas across Ghana and West Africa.

He said Parliament had okayed the designs and invitation had been thrown to other development partners to assist the district, and indeed the country, to implement the project over 20 years at the cost of US$2 billion.

Even before actual implementation of the construction designs takes off, some eager individual developers have started breaking the ground and many are far advanced in their construction works.

Almost all notable companies in real estate, engineering, dealers in equipment and earth moving machines, building material dealers, as well as oil and gas service providers are fast setting up in Secondi-Takoradi as well as the nearby districts, particularly the coastal towns and villages.

The BOST Petroleum Terminal at Punpuni is actually designed to be the biggest depot in Ghana for the oil and gas strategic storage and transmission outfit, which has been given an additional mandate to receive all processed gas from the oil field for strategic storage and distribution across the country, particularly to some factories in the Western, Eastern, Ashanti and Northern Regions through rail wagons, tankers, barges, tankers and transmission lines.

BOST wants to use the Western depot as its West African hub, from where it would supply natural gas to the West African Gas Pipeline and through its own transmission to some neighbouring countries.

Such a project is expected to open up the Ahanta West District and impact on the lives of the people closest to the facility, such as the Punpunis and Atwereboandas.

According to Mr Dofoyena, the third phase is the actual implementation, which had started in earnest with the establishment of the Interim Management Committee to stand in for the imminent Ahanta Preservation Development Authority to be set up by an Act of Parliament to oversee the implementation.

“In the interim, we have put in place an Interim Management Committee to oversee the implementation until the authority is in place,” the DCE told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS.

“The committee would ensure that the individual developers would integrate their plans with that of the district to avoid haphazard development,” he stated.

The project designs which were completed at the end of last month, includes the construction of a modern city 1.5-kilometre radius city around Agona Nkwata with 12 diamond shapes, each diamond containing 10,000 people.

The DCE said the assembly was hoping to start off with two diamonds, but added that with the interest and pace of development in the district, “I can envisage a completion of the entire project in 15 years.”

There would be tourist attraction sites at Adjua and Busua with an international golf course as well as harbours, landing bays and industrial zones around areas such as Pricesstown, Miamia, and Agyamera, with an airport planed for Pitia, which has been identified for over 50 years as a suitable site to relief the airstrip at Takoradi.

Mr Dofoyena explained that there would proper road infrastructure including railways network to connect all the coastal communities, from Takoradi all the way to Dixcove, Princesstown right to Axim.

Training & capacity building
The proactive steps by the assembly are helping to calm nerves and expectations of the teaming youth of the area. The district is fully aware of the need to equip the youth with skills and know how to participate in the business boom in the area.

“As a start, we are going to liaise with Harvard Marine Institute, which has been duly accredited by the National Accreditation Board to offer oil-related training and we will work with them to train our people so they can also get work to do,” DCE Dofoyena stated.

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