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Govt, TUC in tango over release of Tema Shipyard to Tullow

  • SOURCE: | qwesa2big
  • oil and gas 17thThe government is on a collision course with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) over its decision to hand over the PSC Tema Shipyard to Tullow Ghana.

    Under the arrangement, Tullow Ghana will take over part of the PSC Shipyard on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) term for a three-year period.

    But the Secretary General of the TUC, Mr Kofi Asamoah, says this is surprising and disappointing.

    According to Mr Asamoah, the TUC strongly believed that the shipyard was of strategic importance to the country, particularly now that oil production activities were underway.

    The Transport Minister, Mrs Dzifa Attivor, however, told the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday that the ministry was awaiting approval from the Presidency to complete the negotiation and the lease agreement with Tullow for a takeover of the facility.

    Under the arrangement, she said, Tullow would construct a second floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel to facilitate its operations in the oil fields.

    There have been calls on the government to hand over the management and operation of the facility to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) whose officials had, in 2012, paid out a $6.36 million bailout package to the previous Malaysian managers that enabled the government to repossess the facility after 16 years.

    The minister, who described the bailout package as a loan from the GPHA, said the government had not received any proposal from the GPHA to take over the management of the facility.

    Officials of the GPHA, however, said the government was aware of its intention, for which reason a technical person had been nominated by the authority, awaiting the ministry’s approval to temporarily take charge of the facility.

    According to the Director-General of the GPHA, Mr Richard Anamoo, officials were keeping their fingers crossed to hear from the government regarding the GPHA’s proposal to operate the shipyard.

    “The TUC is of the view that instead of giving it to foreign investors, which normally lead to capital flight and the fact that they don’t even meet the expectation of Ghanaians, the company must be given to the GPHA to manage,” Mr Asamoah said.

    He wondered whether Tullow Ghana was a ship-building operator.

    “Why should we use an agent, instead of using the dry dock and ship builders themselves who have the needed expertise and capacity to run the place profitably?” he queried.

    He added that when the government engaged in such ventures, “we are engaging in capital flight for our country. The money that should have really come into the country would be siphoned away by foreigners,” he said.

    He said Tullow Ghana could go into an agreement with the GPHA for the use of the facility for the manufacture and fabrication of its parts.

    Mr Asamoah dismissed the minister’s assertion that the bailout package was a loan from the GPHA to the government and asked whether the authority now operated a credit granting facility.

    Source: Daily Graphic

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