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Council of State Approves Board for Multi-billion Dollar Petroleum Hub Development Corporation

Charles Owusu has been instrumental in putting up the pillars for the creation of the PHDC right from the onset. His recommendation, therefore, from the sector minister to the President comes as no surprise.

President Akufo-Addo has appointed a former petroleum executive with a strong financial background to head the multi-billion dollar industrial park project, designed to establish Ghana as the hub for the petrochemical industry in the West African region.

In line with section 14 (1) of the Petroleum Hub Development Corporation Act, 2020 (Act 1053), the President recently named Charles Owusu as the Chief Executive Officer of the newly established Petroleum Hub Development Corporation (PHDC).

Charles Owusu has been instrumental in putting up the pillars for the creation of the PHDC right from the onset. His recommendation, therefore, from the sector minister to the President comes as no surprise.

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The President, with the approval of the Council of State, has also constituted the governing body for the Petroleum Hub Development Corporation.

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The Council of State gave approval on 18th August and the board is expected to be sworn in by the Minister for Energy, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh next week.

PHDC Governing Body

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The PHDC governing body comprises the chairman, Awulae Annor Adjaye ll, President’s nominee; Mr. Charles Owusu, CEO of the PHDC; Mr. Kwame Asante Nsiah, Representative of the Free Zone Authority; Mr. Humphrey Ayim Darke, Representative of the Association of Ghana Industries; Mr. Senyo Kwasi Hosi, Representative of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors.

The rest are Mr. Yaw Agyemang-Duah, an expert in the downstream Petroleum Industry; Mr. David Ampofo, Representative of Ghana Upstream Petroleum Chamber; Maame Ofewah Sarpong and Hon. Samuel Erickson Abakah, both being nominees of the President on the Board.

The Task

The PHDC is to realise a long-standing dream of getting Africa to set up an integrated petroleum industry that will ensure that the continent better exploits and realises the value chain optimum of its rich oil and gas resources. The President views this as also line with the African Continental Free Trade Area project.

This is also seen as timely, as the emerging global energy transition phenomenon requires that oil-rich countries like Ghana look beyond the mere production and sale of crude oil and gas for fuel purposes and for value-addition abroad.

For example, Ghana is yet to monetise its gas or oil resources as feedstock for a range of products, including plastics, fertilisers, chemicals etc.

The President’s vision, according to the policy document, is to develop a modern, diversified, efficient and financially sustainable energy economy that will ensure that all Ghanaian homes and industries have access to an adequate, reliable, affordable and environmentally sustainable supply of energy. This is to assist the people meet their social and economic needs and will support the country’s accelerated growth and industrialisation agenda in a fast-integrating Africa.

The Petroleum Hub Project

Mr. Peter John Amewu, then Ministry for Energy, received approval from Cabinet at its 48th meeting on 14th February 2019 to commence the implementation of the masterplan for the development of a petroleum hub in the Western Region.

Per the masterplan, when fully realised, the overall value of the petroleum hub is estimated to be in the range of US$60 billion. The entire multi-billion project, though facilitated by Government, is designed to be purely private sector funding, attracting investors across the petroleum value chain.

West Africa’s first integrated oil and gas infrastructure will be set on a 20,000-acre land, Domunli enclave, in the Jomoro Municipality, Western Region. At its peak it can house 3 refineries with 300,000 bpsd capacity minimum each, 5 petrochemical plants, jetties and port infrastructure, 10million cubic meters storage tanks, gas infrastructure and ancillary infrastructure.

The role of Government, besides setting up the institution to drive the project, is to provide land, offsite infrastructure, tax incentives and other amenities towards the project. The project will be implemented in three phases over the next decade.

Profile of Charles Owusu

Charles Owusu, until recently, served as technical advisor to the Minister for Finance on petroleum and energy policy. He analyzed, assessed and provided sustainable growth strategies in the energy sector to provide reliable and affordable power, strengthening the balance sheet of the SOEs in the sector, as well as reducing the sector’s related NPLs within the banking sector due to the legacy debts in the energy sector.

He also designed policies, procedures and controls to ensure the legacy debts within the energy sector are settled, as well as building a resilient, vibrant and affordable power infrastructure. Mr Owusu developed a strategy to revamp the domestic revenue mobilization in the area of people, technology and processes to build a robust and integrated Revenue Authority.

Prior to joining Ministry of Finance, Charles was a Senior Tax Consultant in charge of assignments in the area of corporate tax, transfer pricing, health checks and tax due diligence. His experience cuts across most sectors of the economy; including oil & gas, power, shipping & ports, mining, telecommunication, consumer and manufacturing sectors.

Charles worked with Blue Ocean Investments Limited (Bulk Oil Distribution Company), now Puma Energy as Business Analyst, in the area of bulk oil importation, petroleum pricing and trading techniques, stock analysis, financial analysis, as well as business development for three years.

Mr Charles Owusu also worked with the Energy Commission of Ghana as project accountant under the Technical Directorate. He was an Adjunct-Lecturer for Executive Management Programme in Oil and Gas at Central University College-Ghana, lecturing on international petroleum fiscal regimes, and energy markets & policy.

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