Ghana’s hope of building a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel in the country may be far from possible, Vice President of Atlantic FPSO Project Development of MODEC International Inc, Puneet Sharma has said.
According to him, it will not be economically prudent for Ghana to make a 600 million dollars investment to build a single FPSO shipyard.
Speaking to Citi Business News Mr. Sharma rather urged Ghana to concentrate on training more personnel that can fabricate parts of FPSOs.
“An FPSO is about three football fields long and am wondering why Ghana will want to build an FPSO ship here or a shipyard. There isn’t a single place anywhere in Ghana that is big enough to do that and it will require a six hundred million dollars investment to do that in Ghana,” he said.
He stated that construction of an FPSO normally involve a number of different companies building separate parts before they are assembled.
“But even in Angola with an oil and gas industry that is over 25 years old, there has not been one FPSO built there,” he said.
He also argued that Ghana has no space or venue in any of its shipyards currently that can be converted into an FPSO building yard.
Mr. Sharma rather appealed to government to spend time on setting fabrication centres for parts of the FPSO.
“No one is going to make a six hundred million dollars investment to build just one FPSO. The best way to do is to make small investments like what is going on within the industry and get people to work for smaller parts that are used on the FPSO,” he said.
Ghana’s move to build FPSO yard
Ghana, in its quest to be the first country in the sub-region to build an FPSO yard to serve the oil and gas industry announced plans to pursue the move.
Cabinet recently ordered the Ministry of Transport to transfer operations of the PSC Tema Shipyard and Dry Dock Company Limited to the GPHA.
According to the statement signed by the Minister of Communications Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, government expects that the “Tema Shipyard would in the long term attract the needed resources to venture into the building of FPSO vessels for the oil and gas industry”.
Ghana is currently awaiting its third FPSO which is under construction at the Keppel Shipyard in Singapore as there are now two FPSO’s operating on the TEN and Jubilee fields.
Ghana has a modest upstream oil industry with one onshore and five offshore sedimentary basins.
These are the Cote d’Ivoire-Tano Basin (including Cape Three Points Sub-basin), the Saltpond Basin, the Accra/Keta Basin and the Inland Voltaian Basin.
The main drive behind the oil and gas industry in Ghana is the need to reduce the country’s dependence and reliance on hydroelectricity.