Ghana’s national oil company, GNPC, has started a series of engagements to inform, educate and solicit feedback from stakeholders as part of plans to decommission the country’s first oilfield, Saltpond Oil Field, in the Central Region.
Key stakeholders who have been engaged include the Central Regional Minister’s office represented by the Chief Director, MP for Mfantsiman, Ophelia Hayford, the chiefs and people of Mfantsiman, Ekumfi and Cape Coast, Security Heads, canoe owners, Assemblymen and women representatives of Civil Society Organisations, Community Based Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations and the media in the Central Region.
Other institutions yet to be engaged are the Fisheries Commission, EPA and the Ghana Maritime Authority.
At a public meeting organised at Mankessim and attended by the chiefs, MP, MCE and key stakeholders of Mfantisman, the Chief of Kuntu, Nana Kwesi Brembo III, who chaired the meeting, called for support for the planned decommissioning, indicating that he expected the GNPC to conduct its activities in an environmentally friendly manner whilst minimising the impact on the fisherfolks who depend on the sea for their livelihoods.
He advised the GNPC to regularly engage the key stakeholders at every stage of the decommissioning to reduce suspicion and tension.
The General Manager for Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations at GNPC, Dr Kwame Baah-Nuakoh said the Corporation is engaging stakeholders to assure Ghanaians that it is a law-abiding and socially responsible entity.
He promised the engagements would continue in the coming weeks, stressing that “GNPC is committed to engage all stakeholders identified through our mapping exercise and we are confident that the chiefs and people will join the Corporation to undertake this important project to save the country from any potential disaster.”
Dr Baah–Nuakoh further indicated that the decommissioning project would be executed on behalf of the GNPC by Hans & Co Oil and Gas Ltd, a wholly-owned Ghanaian Oil and Gas, Engineering, Construction and Civil Works Company.
“We believe in the competences of our local companies and that is why after going through the procurement processes, we settled on Hans & Co Oil and Gas Ltd which has a proven track record of employing industry best practices in the execution of all their projects, that ensure effective socio-cultural and environmental stewardship.”
On the issue of perceived resistance to the decommissioning works by the impacted communities, he stated that “naturally, you should expect the fisher folks and the communities to have some sentimental attachment to the field, however, the current state of the platform is a potential disaster, and we need to decommission it to save human, aquatic life and the entire coast of Ghana.”
Explaining what is involved in the decommissioning, Dr Baah–Nuakoh pointed out that the project will involve permanent plugging and abandonment of the six wells drilled during the project, removal and dismantling of the Mr Louie Platform, the installation of navigation buoys with marine light in compliance with Internal Maritime Organisation laws, and the disposal and management of waste.
Source: Ghana: GNPC Engages Stakeholders Ahead Of Decommissioning Of Saltpond Oil Field | Energy News Africa