Increasing refinery capacities and deepening intra-Africa trade for oil and petrochemical products are two key measures for creating wealth for now and the future of the continent, Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, has said.
He said, in efforts to boost economic growth in the oil and gas industry in Ghana and the continent, it is necessary to maximize refinery capacities through diversification and utilization to create wealth especially as the future of the space is uncertain.
Speaking at the eighth edition of the annual Ghana Oil and Gas Awards, which came off in Accra recently, Dr. Adam said that the sector can maximize benefits by trading internally (intra-Africa Trade) as oil trade among Africans is as low as about five percent.
“We should mobilise resources to trade among ourselves as Africans. We need to build our refinery capacities. This will enable us to create wealth together for now and in the future. We can transform our oil into petrochemicals that are needed everywhere in the world. Currently, the International Energy Agency estimated that in 2030, petrochemicals will account for a third of global demand for oil and by 2050 it will account for half,” he said.
In view of that, he said the energy ministry is working to reposition the country to diversify the industry and harness the benefit of the oil and gas resources, adding that government’s move to establish a petroleum hub is a step in the right direction to aid sector and economy growth.
“We need to be mindful that the future of our industry is uncertain. We are working so hard to reposition our country to maximize the benefits of our oil and gas resources. We are convinced that we will continue to produce oil but not hurt the environment, I urge you to talk to your investors abroad to invest here in Ghana by building refineries,” he said.
The awards ceremony, organised by Xodus Communications in partnership with the Ministry of Energy, is aimed at rewarding those who have played a defining role in the oil and gas sector.
It also celebrates the advances made in the key areas of environmental stewardship, efficiency, innovation, leadership, Corporate Social Responsibility, and health and safety.
Dr. Adam said the award scheme will offer a perfect opportunity to raise the profiles of stakeholders in the industry as well as encourage them to do more. The move, he stressed, will increase the visibility of stakeholders with a professional audience.
He congratulated awardees and admonished them to help invest more in the space to retain and create job opportunities.
Chief Executive Officer of Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, Senyo Hosi, also urged sector players to be optimistic of and optimize opportunities within the oil and gas space.