Speaking at the detailed soil investigation stage for the Atuabo Freeport project at Atuabo in the Ellembelle district of the Western Region, he explained that after the soil level is determined it will assist the consultant to know what type of methods or equipment will be required in order to build the site.
“Right now we are at the final stage ahead of construction; we will use six weeks to complete the soil testing exercise and then the construction will begin,” he added.
Mrs. Philomena Dovi-Kuzoe, the External Affairs Officer at the Atuabo Freeport, explained that after construction the Freeport will be a one-stop-shop facility providing total support and efficiency to the oil and gas industry in the country and across the Gulf of Guinea.
According to her, the Freeport will be located on 2,000 acres of land and will feature three main areas: logistics supply base, a fabrication yard, as well as rig and ship repair facilities.
The logistics supply base, with an area of 100 acres, will provide safe and sheltered berthing, a strong quayside spanning 700 metres, and good water-depth that will allow larger ocean-faring vessels to load and offload contents and materials related to the hydrocarbons industry with ease.
Also, she said, the fabrication yard will facilitate construction of large subsea units in West Africa, and encourage the development of local fabricators and manufacturers in Ghana and across the regions.
Currently, the rigs operating offshore Ghana that require repair work have two main options — Cape Town Harbour in South Africa or the Port of Palmas in Spain’s Canary Islands, she said.
“Atuabo Freeport’s rig and vessel repair facility will therefore offer an alternative choice that reduces the cost being paid currently by vessel owners and operators — the facility will also support the growing fleet of rigs, offshore support vessels and even Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels operating in West Africa,” he said.
She added that to ensure comfort for port tenants and users, the Atuabo Freeport will offer a business support area that will include extended stay accommodation, office space, shopping facilities, as well as banks.
“The 1,600 metre airstrip will enable flights in and out of Atuabo — a helipad will allow for safe helicopter landing and utility services will be supplied by the Freeport,” she said.
Again, she said the Atuabo Freeport will further enhance operations within the oil and gas industry and put the country on the map regionally as a hub for oil and gas excellence; and that it is expected to create over 1,000 jobs.