Ghana plans free port for oil and gas companies

Ghana plans free port for oil and gas companies

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Model of the Atuabo free port

The Ghana authorities are planning to build a $600mln free port to accommodate offshore and deep-water exploration, development and production companies at Atuabo 326km from the capital Accra. The port is targeted at reducing cost of operation and servicing for exploration and production companies operating in the country. Construction at the 2,000 acre land is expected to begin during the third quarter of 2015 with completion set for end of 2017.

Currently international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Ghana have to choose between South Africa’s Cape Town or Las Palmas in the Canary Islands to carry out repair work on rigs used in operation. Freighting usually takes 20 days to destination and cost the IOCs between $400,000 to $600,000 per day. The move will save the IOCs an estimated $10million per towage on the average. The government plans to attract investors to the port with a 70 percent duty free and tax free access. The port will be constructed by China Harbours Engineering Company (CHEC). The port could also serve companies operating in neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria, a move that can turn Ghana to a regional hub for offshore services.

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