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The energy sector is the lifeline in the development of any nation. This belief informed the decision to undertake the construction of the first hydroelectric (Akosombo) dam in 1965, which continues to be an important investment in Ghana’s economic history. Over the years with the increased demand by power users for greater security and reliability other sources of power – thermal, solar and lately windmills, as well as imports – have been added to the generation mix. The thrust of Government policy in the energy sector and Ghana’s oil find in commercial quantities is to push for a significant increase in its energy resources to become a net exporter of both power and fuel within the next five years. The production of Ghana’s oil started in the year 2010.
The Ministry of Energy has the responsibility for developing and implementing energy sector policy in Ghana. As part of its oversight responsibility, the Ministry also operates the nation’s strategic reserve of petroleum products through the publicly owned Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST).
The sector is composed of two main sectors, namely petroleum and power. The Petroleum sector is made up of two sub-sectors – the downstream activities (i.e. finished products production, distribution) and upstream activities (i.e. exploration, development, production of oil and gas).
In the downstream segment, the Tema Oil Refinery, which operates Ghana’s only petroleum refinery with a processing capacity of about 45,000 barrels of crude oil per stream day, produces gasoline, kerosene, diesel oil, pre-mix fuel, aviation fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), among others. Tema Lube Oil Company produces assorted lubricants and special oils on behalf of the 17 licensed Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).
In the upstream sub-sector, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is the key institution that is collaborating with private investors to prospect for crude oil and gas within Ghana’s territorial boundaries.
The Power sub-sector is run by three utilities: the Volta River Authority (VRA), Ghana Grid Company Limited and Electricity Company of Ghana Limited (ECG). The total installed generating capacity of electric power in Ghana in 2011 was 2,169.50MW. The 2,168MWcomprises 1,180MW of hydro generation (Akosombo and Kpong stations), 330MW fromTakoradi Power Company (TAPCO), 220MW from Takoradi International Company (TICO),200MW from Sunon Asogli, 80MW diesel plant from Tema and 110 and 49.5 from TemaThermal 1 Power Plant and Tema Thermal 2 Power Plant respectively. (Source: Energy Outlook For 2012, Energy Commission). In October, 2012 CENIT Power Plant commences commercial operation adding a further 126 MW to the installed capacity.
However, since the beginning of the year 2013, the SunonAsogli plant has shut down production because the unavailability of natural gas supply from the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company because of damages of transmitting pipes thereby disrupting the hitherto uninterrupted energy supply in Ghana. The Government of Ghana officially took over the 132 MW Takoradi Thermal 3 Power Plant in Ghana on Tuesday April 2, 2013 which is expected to significantly cushion the loss from Sunon Asogli.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) is a statutorily independent body responsible for regulating and the overseeing provision of electrical and water utility services to consumers. Its functions include protecting the interests of providers and consumers, approval of rate, monitoring performance, standards and promoting competition among service providers.
Ghana has two (2) commercial ports at Tema, in the east and Takoradi in the west. An inland port is under construction at Boankra, near Kumasi. The port of Tema covers 166 hectares of water area enclosed by 2 breakwaters. There are 2 quays housing 12 multi-purpose berths. Quay 1 houses berth 6-12, while Quay 2 houses berths 1-5. These berths are operated as common-user and a wide range of cargo including dry bulks, steel products, bagged cargo, newspapers, vehicles and containers. There is a terminal for handling crude and other liquid petroleum products. The oil berth can accommodate tanker of up to 244 metres in length with a maximum draught of 9.7metres.
Recent years have seen a rapid increase in cargo through Tema and owing to trans-shipment and transit traffic to land-locked Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Indications are that traffic will continue to grow in the foreseeable future.
The Takoradi port, a much smaller one, was commissioned in 1928, but underwent major rehabilitation in the 1990s. It is slated for another massive refurbishment under the Ghana Gateway Project in the near future. Currently, it handles about 60% of Ghana’s total exports, which mainly includes minerals (manganese, bauxite and gold ), timber and cocoa.
A new centrally located “inland port” is being constructed at Boankra near Kumasi in the heart of the country. This is expected to be an important staging post for goods in transit to and from the landlocked countries lying north of Ghana. This will be a multi-modal facility handling both road and rail traffic. When the facility enters service, cargo owners to the northern part of Ghana will be able to use Boankra as their trans-shipment instead ofTema and Takoradi.
Due to Ghana’s oil find, there is a short term development project to take place at theTakoradi port. The project which is estimated to cost about USD 50 million would involve dredging of the area to 7.0 m, land reclamation, relocation of the cocoa sheds outside the port, construction of about 500m quay walls, 650m oil berth with 10m draft, water hydrant for the supply of fresh water to vessels, office accommodation, oil storage tanks for bunkering, storage facility of oil production materials in a free-zone and cargo handling equipment.
Based on cargo forecast up to year 2028 a master plan has been developed for the long term. The estimated cost of project is USD 650 million and it will see facilities like breakwater extension, paved operating areas, conveyers for clinker, bauxite and manganese, railroad, paved roads, container yard and cargo handling equipment being added to the port.
In the eastern part of Tema is one of Ghana’s main fishing harbours. Another one is atSekondi and other minor ones are located at Elmina, Mumford and other fishing communities along the coast. The Tema Fishing harbour is divided into 3 zones – the inner outer fishing harbour has a protective water area of 15 hectares, a maximum draught of 5.2 metres and an average draught of 4.0 metres at low water level. Facilities include:
Lay-by jetting: 155 metres long with berthing for over 50 wooden vessels
Mooring for 20 steel vessels
Net repairing wharf (100 metres long)
Two (2) fishing handling sheds
Fish market hall
The port of Tema is also a leading center of ship repairs on the west coast of Africa. Convening nearly 49 acres, the shipyard is a convenient hub for dry-docking and repairs of all kinds of ships ranging from large sea going vessels to coasters and fishing boats. It has facilities for ship repair, dry-docking, steel fabrication, general engineering, met lock repairs and non-destructive testing.
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