The Minister of Defence, Lieutenant General Joseph Henry Smith (Rtd), on Wednesday inaugurated a 480,000 dollar aviation fuel facility for the Takoradi Air force Base Station.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, he said the facility would operate on commercial basis to provide aviation fuel to both private and commercial airlines to ensure constant and readily available supply of aviation fuel and to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted operation of airlines.
Lieutenant-General Smith said the Western Region would become an important hub for air transportation and services and would, therefore, receive a lot of attention from the government in that respect.
He said the facility was built through collaboration by the Ghana Air Force, Goil Ghana Limited and Tullow Oil Company.
Lieutenant-General Smith said the government and other stakeholders in the oil and gas industry had taken several steps to improve on facilities in the air transport sector in the country.
He urged other corporate organizations in the oil and gas sector to come up with more assistance to ensure that there were adequate infrastructure to promote the smooth running of projects in the sector.
“This is in view of the fact that the horizon and scope of projects in this sector are impressively large and needs a coordinated effort,” Lieutenant-General Smith said.
Lt. Gen. Smith said the government had put in place a Ministerial Committee on Oil and Gas Security, which is entrusted with the strategic direction of the regulation of security in the oil and gas industry.
He noted that the Committee had developed plans to provide a framework for safety and security measures in the oil and gas sector.
“It has established a petroleum security coordination Centre to work closely with stakeholders in the industry by monitoring the onshore and offshore facilities,” Lieutenant-General Smith said.
He called on oil companies and other stakeholders in the industry to be ready to assist the government and the security agencies to acquire the basic equipment needed to ensure maximum security in the sector.
The Acting General Manager of Tullow Ghana, Mr Kelvin Queen, said the fuel facility was vital to the development of the Jubilee Oil Fields adding that the assistance offered by his outfit was part of its commitment to the development of the oil and gas industry in Ghana.
He said the company would bring two additional oil rigs to facilitate oil drilling in the jubilee fields.
Mr Agyemang Duah, Managing Director of Goil Ghana Limited, said the construction of the aviation fuel facility would meet the expected demand of helicopters of oil companies supporting the exploration activities in the region as well as the expected increase in commercial local flights to Takoradi.