First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo yesterday launched the Floating Production and Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel, John Agyekum Kufuor, at the Keppel Shipyard in Singapore.
The vessel, named after former President John Agyekum Kufuor, will operate in the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) oilfields in the Western Region.
It is the largest of the three FPSOs in Ghana and the first that has been equipped to convert both gas and oil on the same platform, a statement signed by Frank Agyekum, Spokesperson for the former president, has indicated.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo, who was the special guest of honour, commended Mr John Agyekum Kufuor for his foresight in restructuring the oil sector during his administration, which led to the discovery of oil in commercial quantities – for the first time in Ghana – about 10 years ago.
She noted that naming the vessel after former President Kufuor was well-deserved, as it showed the appreciation of Ghanaians for his good deeds which transformed Ghana from a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) to a lower middle income-earning country in a record time of about six years.
President Kufuor expressed his appreciation to Ghanaians for the honour done him and praised the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, led by President Mahama, for proposing to name the vessel after him.
He also commended the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, led by President Nana Akufo-Addo, for carrying the proposal through.
President Kufuor traced oil exploration in Ghana from the 1890s through various governments till 2007 when the first commercially viable quantity of crude was found under his administration; but lamented the fact that Ghanaians have not as yet fully realized the benefits of the find.
“Although Ghana is now counted among the oil-producing countries in the world, our country is yet to become the ‘land of milk and honey’ that many pray for.
“We still grapple with a lot of economic and social difficulties in our bid to make our oil find a ‘blessing and not a curse,’” former President Kufuor said, and hoped that with efficient management, the FPSO, with capacity to process 58,000 barrels of oil and 98 million standard cubic feet of gas a day, will help to turn things around for the country.
He expressed optimism that the new government under President Akufo-Addo “will expand the enabling atmosphere with best practices and policies for the concept of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) to be realized to achieve the social and economic transformation for all citizens of our nation in the shortest possible time.”
FPSO John Agyekum Kufuor, expected to sail into Ghanaian waters by April 2017, is operated by ENI Petroleum, Ghana Limited; Vitol Upstream Ghana Limited and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).