Local companies in the petroleum ecosystem have been urged to form joint venture partnerships with indigenous equity participation so as to benefit from contracts in the upstream petroleum sector.
Despite the existence of a local content law, some multinational oil and gas companies outsource contracts to foreign companies often due to the lack of capacity by local firms to execute them.
Speaking at the Joint Venture and Permitting seminar held by Tullow Ghana, Local Content Manager of Tullow, Jennifer Bruce-Konuah explained that even though the company awarded $10 billion out of $16 billion worth of contracts to indigenous and joint venture companies, more capacity building must be done to increase these number on the large scale.
“For 2019, our target is to achieve 80 per cent of contract commitments with local business participation and also achieve a 25 per cent spend specifically with indigenous companies,” she told JoyBusiness.
Meanwhile, the Petroleum Commission has urged all multinational oil firms to strictly abide by the Law of engaging only local firms enlisted on the company’s registry.
Head of Legal for the Petroleum Commission, Nana Akua Agyei tells JoyBusiness all defaulting companies breaching the Commission’s rules and regulations.
“We’ve upped our game when it comes to monitoring. For the past 12 to 18 months. We’re ensuring that every company about to put out a tender is obliged to come for the petroleum register and look through the list to get all registered companies aware of the tendering process so they can apply.
Not doing so results in sanctions as per the local content regulations. This is a minimum of 100,000 to 250,000 penalty units that give you about GHc300 million. They don’t stand alone, there are also fines and imprisonments that go with the sanctions,” she told JoyBusiness.
So far, Cabinet has approved a policy on local content and participation in the country’s downstream petroleum industry. This policy is intended to ensure a Ghanaian-driven and ownership of the petroleum downstream industry, capable of attracting increased local value-added investments and enhanced job opportunities.
The new policy framework covers areas such as trading, shipping and bulk distribution of petroleum products, as well as infrastructural development in the petroleum sector such as the construction of port discharge facilities, processing and petrochemical plants.