The Managing Director of Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL), Mr Patrick Akorli, has expressed the company’s readiness to extend its footprint in the local bunkering industry.

According to him, more opportunities exist in the market because the country is offering less than 20 per cent bunkering services in the country.  That justifies the company’s investments in storage facilities to be able to expand its services.

At the Maritime Week Africa Oil and Shipping Conference in Accra, Mr Akorli said, “as we speak now, we have put up a 5.5 million metric tonnes facility at the Sekondi Naval Base, which is doing bunkering for exploration ships. We are also putting up a 13.5 million facility at the Takoradi harbour. That project will be completed by December 2016 so that we can deliver to more vessels.”

He explained further that in reality not much was being done in Ghana with respect to bunkering services, which pointed to the fact that there was more opportunity in that market that ought to be exploited.

“We are just doing a fraction of it now; we are doing less than 20 per cent. So why don’t you expand so that at least you can do about 60 per cent. Ideally, it should be 100 per cent onshore so that they have a secure environment where there is no piracy and everyone is happy about it,” he said.

GOIL, the leading investor in the Ghana Bunkering Services (GBS), with a shareholding of 51.5 per cent, is ready to take charge of the market.

“As far as we in GOIL are concerned, we are ready for the market. We believe it is a very big market and it can bring in a lot of revenue not only for the company but the country as a whole,” Mr Akorli added.

Reducing BDC debt

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Mr Moses Asaga, reiterated the government’s efforts to reduce the debt owed the Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs).

He said reducing the debt from over GH¢1.5 billion to GH¢500 million was commendable as the government continued to find ways to pay off the debt.

“We have been at the centre of meetings with the Ministry of Finance, the commercial banks and the representatives of the BDCs.  We have been looking at ways and means to solve this problem of debt overruns,” he said.

Mr Asaga added, “we must also give credit to the government for reducing the debt to GH¢500 million. It started at probably GH¢1.5 billion so if today it has been reduced to GH¢500, we must commend government, the NPA and the Ministry of Finance for at least solving some of the problems.”

He said the government was currently looking at how to ring-fence the debts, explaining that a portion of the energy infrastructure levy would be committed to defraying some of the debts.

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