Ghana could lose up to $1 million a day if a chemical plant needed at the Takoradi Port to maintain the Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel, FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, is not completed before its arrival in July.
On a visit to the Takoradi Port, the Transport Minister, Mr Mike Hammah, was met with the accusation that authorities at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) Headquarters were using unnecessary bureaucratic means to unduly delay the lease of land for the establishment of the facility.
If the facility is not completed before the arrival of the vessel in July, the partners in the Jubilee Fields, including the government of Ghana, through the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), will incur the avoidable debt of $1 million a day for as long as it takes to complete it.
According to port officials, the Tullow and Jubilee partners decided to set up the chemical plant at the Takoradi Port to avoid the high cost involved in getting the needed chemicals for the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah and also boost local content.
And to achieve that, they applied for a lease in the port last year but the GPHA Headquarters in Accra was yet to give approval for commencement of work, they said.
Mr Hammah, who was not happy with the situation, accordingly gave the port authorities a week to conclude the procedure.
According to officials of Tullow, even though it would take some time to build the structure, if they were given the authority to start work, they could save the situation.
The FPSO Kwame Nkrumah has already set sail from Singapore for Ghana. Work on it will begin immediately it arrives, since most of the sub-sea structures are almost in place.
Mr Hammah wondered why the way the GPHA was handling the issue had not been raised at the numerous meetings that had been held in the past.
He warned that the interest of the country was very paramount and so excessive bureaucracy to stall offshore operations for selfish interests would not be tolerated.
The minister also visited the Sekondi Naval Command and the Takoradi Port to get a better insight into their operations.