Business News of 2013-12-13

SMEs urged to build capacity to win contracts in oil industry

The Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, has urged Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to build their capacity to remain competitive and win contracts in the oil industry.

He said the Local Content law on Oil and Gas had allocated 10 percent contracts on services in the sector to Ghanaian businesses and appealed to them to position themselves properly to gain them.

Mr. Buah said this during an interaction with journalists after inspecting some facilities at the T-2 expansion project at the Aboadze Thermal Plant. He said a Petroleum Commission (PC) was set up to ensure that provisions in the law were enforced to the letter while a Committee had also been constituted to undertake monthly review of the performances of oil companies in the country to ensure compliance.

“Now, when oil blocs are being awarded, the law considers the financial and technical abilities as well as the local content commitment of the oil companies,” he said.

Mr Buah, the Member of Parliament for Ellembelle, said provision had been made for stiffer punishment for oil companies that would blatantly violate the law. He said PNDC Law 84 on petroleum would be reviewed and appealed to SMEs to build capacity that meet specifications in the petroleum sector in order not to lose out on contract to foreign bidders.

Mr. Buah said the Law on the Petroleum industry would ensure transparency in the tendering process and clear any uncertainties regarding the award of contracts in the sector.

He added that the law had reduced the number of years an oil company could operate an oil bloc from 30 years to 25 years and commended the Enterprise Development Centre for taking up the challenge to train and build the capacity of SMEs.