On the 23rd January 2023, The Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Hub Development Corporation (PHDC) Mr Charles Owusu led his Operations and Technical Team to engage with the Chiefs and people of the Jomoro Municipality. The engagement forms part of the Corporation’s periodic engagements with the people to update them on the progress of work done in preparation for setting up Africa’s first Petroleum and Petrochemical Hub in the Jomoro enclave.
In attendance was Awulae Annor Adjei (Paramount Chief of Western Nzema Traditional Council), Hon. Dr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah (Western Regional Minister), Hon. Louisa Iris Arde (Municipal Chie Executive, Jomoro Municipal Assembly), Mr Charles Owusu (Chief Executive Officer, PHDC), Nana Ama Tima Boakye (Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Technical and Operations) Mrs Joyce Akosua Amgmorteh Miezah (Municipal Coordinating Director), the Chiefs and Queen Mothers.
The her welcome address, the MCE, Hon. Louisa Iris Arde said that she was pleased that the Board and management of Petroleum Hub Development Corporation scheduled this meeting in the first month of the year to show how dedicated they are to getting this project underway.
She said upon completion of the project, the country will reduce the cost of importing petroleum and other related products which will subsequently help boost the economy and create jobs as well.
She disclosed that during the last meeting in August 2022 which was meant to update the stakeholders on the project, she made it known that the Western Regional Coordinating Council together with the board would continue to engage affected farmers and land owners to complete the compulsory acquisition which would enable the commencement of the project and reported that steady progress had been made in that regard.
She added that His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo is very much interested in the project and for this reason, the project has been pencilled down as one of the priority projects under the Ghana Beyond Aid Charter and when completed would reduce the unemployment rate in the region and the country.
She divulged that the hub is expected to cover 20,000-acre land in the Domunli enclave in the Jomoro Municipality of the Western Region of Ghana.
She stated that when the hub is completed, it would have the potential to create employment for over 780 teeming youth in the Nzema enclave in particular and the country. She said the Western Region is blessed and fortunate to have this project situated in the region because it would position the region for many economic opportunities and further open it up for new businesses.
The MCE reminded the gathering that, in the past, the siting of the Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) was earmarked for the municipality but ended up in the Ellembelle District and this time, the Petroleum Hub should not slip through the fingers and that the Assembly is committed to the cause and will get it done.
She said she believed as stakeholders, they need to put in maximum efforts to get the project done as soon as possible so that the dream of becoming the Petroleum Hub in the West African Sub-Region would become a reality and urged all participants to dispassionately bring their ideas to make the forum a success.
Awulae Annor Adjei, the President of the Western Nzema Traditional Council and Chairman of the Board of the Petroleum Hub Development Corporation in his remarks rallied support for the project and declared that the project had come too far to fail and that there were several attempts in the past for the establishment of the petrol chemical industry, but it did not materialise. He said with the current progress and commitment, the project needs the support of all to ensure that it takes off and gets completed to benefit the people.
He noted that the government had gone through the processes for the land acquisition and stakeholder consultations and debunked the rumour that monies have been paid to the chiefs or individual landowners for the 20,000 acres of land allocated for the project.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, commended the chiefs and people for their commitment to ensuring that the project succeeds. He said the government had gone through the process to acquire land for the project to the take-off. He said the people whose lands are part of the area of interest have been contacted and would make sure the best story of the petroleum hub is told when all is done.
He urged the youth to sharpen their existing skills and acquire more technical skills in readiness for jobs during the construction phase and actual commencement of the project.
He commended the company for the regular interactions and the update towards the operationalisation of the hub, which would create another growth pole in the Region for the country.
He stated that as a Region that produces a chunk of the country’s resources, the time has come for the indigenes to start owning the projective assets in the Region and support the development of the country.
Mr Charles Owusu, the CEO of PHDC emphasized the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the estimated $60 Billion investment sees the light of day. He recounted several operational activities that have been completed in the acquisition of the 20,000-acre land required for the project. He indicated that all the necessary documentation required has been submitted and is pending the cabinet’s approval and issuance of an Executive Instrument to complete the land acquisition processes from the chiefs and the people.
Mr Owusu further explained that the Corporation is at an advanced stage in discussions and negotiations with an investor to sign phase one for the project to commence. He assured the people that deserving compensations as per the constitution would be paid to affected farmers, landowners, and communities after the process of compulsory land acquisition is fully completed. He entreated the people of Jomoro, especially communities directly affected by the project to keep being optimistic and support the project to succeed.
The Operations and Technical team, led by the Deputy CEO, Nana Ama Tima Boakye took time to explain the project phases and the implementation plan highlighting the different project components coming up in the petroleum hub – petroleum refineries, petrochemical plants, storage facilities, jetties, port and other ancillary infrastructure.