Business News of Thursday, 1 May 2014
Government has been advised not to go ahead with an agreement with Lonrho Ports Ghana Limited to build a free oil and gas service port at Atuabo in the Western Region.
“This constitutes a blatant violation of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority Act of 1986, PNDC Law 160,” Secretary General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) Dr Kofi Asamoah warned on Thursday, May 1 in his address during the 2014 May Day celebrations at the Black Star Square in Accra.
According to Dr Asamoah, GPHA is the only body granted authority to plan, build, manage, operate and control ports in the country, as per the Law. “Placing a port under the control of a private foreign multinational company will undermine national sovereignty and security,” he noted.
The new port is expected to take care of the export of oil from the Jubilee Fields. It is planned to be sited opposite the Fields. But the TUC Secretary General indicated that the recent expansion plans on the Takoradi Harbour will see an oil and gas terminal being constructed.
“Therefore, providing exclusivity for the Atuabo Freeport will have the potential of killing the Takoradi Port.”
Government on August 16, 2011 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Lonrho Ports to carry out a feasibility study for the construction of a freeport at Atuabo.
A year later, Lonrho confirmed that the project was feasible, resulting in the signing of a concession agreement.