Ghana’s first shorebase facility to support offshore oil and gas activities is under construction at Funko in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region.
There are growing concerns about inadequate space at the Takoradi Port for supply vessels in the wake of commercial oil and gas production and this facility can accommodate between 12 to14 vessels when completed.
The facility is closer to the jubilee field. The first phase of the project which is in three phases will cost about 70 million dollars.
It is the brainchild of a Ghanaian company, the Gulf Western Group, and is being financed by private individuals and directors who make up the Funko Lagoon Development Board.
The shorebase with four berthing points will have dock facilities, an enclosed light fabrication & open fabrication yard, logistics center which will be built in collaboration with the Ghana Shippers Authority, a helipad for air-lifting services and a slipway/dry dock amongst others.
The Base Director for the Funko Lagoon Development Board, Albert Obimpeh-Abedi, who spoke to Maxx Business at a forum to sensitize the host communities of Funko, Adjua and Apowa, and other stakeholders about the project, said they are excited about the fact that the initiative is solely Ghanaian, indicating a fulfilment of local content participation in the oil and gas industry.
“This facility is built to suit facility because we have had interactions with almost all the oil and gas companies to suit their operations. Funko Lagoon Shorebase is a complimentary project to support the existing shortages in our commercial Port. Currently if you take a driver down the Sekondi shoreline, you will see a whole lot of supply vessels on the ocean with no dedicated spots for them to operate from. So the investment that we are putting here will partly solve the problem of the supply vessels. Oil and gas is all about heavy logistics and saving these oil companies supply times ends up helping them a lot so this is a project of national interest. This is proudly made by Ghanaians for Ghanaians” he noted.
Mr. Obimpeh-Abedi says the shorebase will also have a facility that will assist in the supply of Ghana’s Gas Plant to be built in the Ellembele District.
“The good news is that Ghana has got a lot of gas and the country has also been experiencing gas shortages. With the availability of gas, as part of what we are doing, we are planning to do Phase three of the project to develop additional tanks and an LPG train that vessels can come and offload gas into the tanks for local distribution” he added.
Unlike other projects, the Funko Lagoon Development Board has in place a programme to ensure that the livelihood of the locals who are predominantly farmers and fishermen, are not affected. Already about sixty locals have been given some training and are engaged in the initial works.
The activities of fishermen in the enclave will also be improved with the construction of the Adjua and Funko fishing Wharfs – especially dedicated to modernize fishing activities in the community, whilst they will also benefit from some social amenities. The previously stagnant Funko Lagoon which was breeding mosquitoes is to be replaced by an active water body – mosquito free.
As part of the project, there will be school of Marine Engineering – an offshore oil and gas specialty school to give opportunities to community youth to gain the required skills needed for the industry.
The Funko Lagoon Development Board is at the concluding part of securing final approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Ghana Maritime Authority and other regulatory agencies. The Board is also putting forward a proposal to the Ghana Free Zones Board to make the enclave a free zone area.
Some chiefs of the beneficiary communities have received the project with great excitement in anticipation that their communities will develop whiles their youth will get jobs to do. The Chief of Funko, Nana Kow Nkani IV and the Chief of Adjua Barima Diaw Quaicoe III, told Maxx News they would be sensitizing their youth on the need to acquire the needed skills to gain employment with the company.