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04.12.2005 Business & Finance

Iranian Group to build oil refinery in Ghana?

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Accra, Dec 4, GNA - A three-member delegation of the Tehran Berkeley Group of Companies, an oil producing and processing conglomerate has completed a week's visit to Ghana to facilitate the establishment of a 2.2-billion dollar private oil refinery in the country. Their visit was at the instance of AGIG Team Ghana, local partners of the Iranian company.

The delegation, made up of Dr. Karim Mousavi Nassab, Vice President and Executive Manager, (Oil and Gas), Mr Mohammad Behnam, a Petrol Chemical Engineer and Mr Aziz Khazaei, a Senior Processing Engineer held discussions with top government officials, and inspected the 25,000-acre site of the project at Prampram.

The Iranians also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with their local partners, AGIG.

Receiving the delegation, Professor Mike Ocquaye, the Minister of Energy lauded the initiative of AGIG Team Ghana and said the deregulation of oil pricing in the country would offer the refinery project many opportunities, as it was in line with government's intention to make Ghana the energy hub of the sub region.

Reacting to the Minister's comments, Mr Valliollah Mohammadi, Iranian Ambassador, who accompanied the team said he was determined to foster greater economic and trade relations with Ghana and hoped the AGIG Oil Refinery Ghana Limited Project would pave the way for other strategic Iranian investors to come to Ghana. The leader of the Iranian investors, Dr Nassab assured the government and people of Ghana of their capability to deliver, based on a compelling track record built in over 32 years of operations in the oil industry.

He affirmed Tehran Berkeley's zeal to partner AGIG to bring the project to fruition.

Meeting the Iranians in his office, Mr Kwamina Bartels, Minister of Private Sector Development assured them of a safe investment terrain derived from the peace and tranquillity pertaining in the country. He affirmed that Ghana's position in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) would afford the refinery a huge market that would give credence to the feasibility of the project.

The Minister pledged that AGIG would benefit from all statutory incentives as soon as the project was started.

When completed, the project, designated AGIG Oil Refinery Ghana Limited, would import crude oil from Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Equatorial Guinea and other countries and refine it for both domestic and foreign consumption, with 70 percent going into the export index.

The refinery would have a distillation capacity of 200,000 barrels a day, tanks farms, a power generating plant, a petrol chemical plant and a Marine House for loading and offloading of crude and refined oil. Equity partners of the AGIG Export Refinery, which will operate as a Free Zone will include the World Bank and International Financial Consortium (IFC) It is hoped that AGIG's local distribution in Ghana would provide government with a more cost effective alternative to the importation of refined petroleum, which would bring about more competitive retail prices for consumers and address the current problem of poor availability among others.

The Iranian delegation was conducted round by a five-member AGIG Team Ghana, which included Dr Johhnn Korkugah Zigglih, President, Mr Senyo Dadjo, Vice President, Mr Samuel Akwasi Marfo, Mr Jeremiah T.K. Djangmah and Mr. Stanley Dzotepe. 04 Dec. 05

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