COVID-19 crisis forces Ghana Energy Awards into special ceremony

Ghana Energy Awards

Ghana Energy Awards (GEA) has opened nominations for its fourth edition described as a special event as Ghana’s Coronavirus cases surge.

The event is on the theme: “Excelling in crisis: the Energy sector in a COVID-19 era”.

The nominations opened for 18 selected competitive and non-competitive categories until 30th September 2020, event organizers said on Tuesday at the launch of the fourth edition.

Some of the categories include; Topmost Energy Personality of the Year awards, Institution of the Year, the Energy Company of the Year, Brand of the Year and Reporter of the Year among others.

Addressing the event, Dr Kwame Ampofo, Chairman of the Awarding Panel, said the Coronavirus pandemic had created an unusual and unsafe environment with its related dire effects on Ghana’s economic and social health.

“The GEA and members have decided that with all these unusual and unsafe times, it is still possible to hold a very special energy awards event, harnessing all the innovations and possibilities offered by ICT and observing all COVID-19 protocols to highlight the residence and ingenuity of Ghana’s corporate world.”

He recounted how the pandemic had forced companies to shut down, leading to several job losses, and suspensions of critical upstream energy sector projects valued over US$300 million.

In Ghana, reports indicated that the energy sector had been hit hard as companies have had to shut down because several workers had tested positive for the deadly virus.

“Tullow Ghana, Aker Energy, Halliburton Energy and Schelumberger are all reported to have reduced their workforce and more are yet to be sent home,” Dr Ampofo said.

Before the eruption of COVID-19, he added, most of the companies had planned to undertake drilling campaigns and conduct geophysical data of their oil wells, however, the outbreak of the virus had forced them to suspend all these activities.

“These and other projects worth US$324 million would have injected life into Ghana’s economy, but for COVID-19 they have been put on hold,” he said.

Albeit, the GEA considered it as an opportunity to hold “a very special Energy Awards event,” while observing all the COVID-19 safety protocols, to highlight the resilience and ingenuity of Ghana’s corporate world, focusing on its sprawling energy sector.

Dr Ampofo said since GEA’s first awards ceremony in November 2017, the event had been well patronised annually due to the high value placed on it by industry players and encouraged all to continue patronizing it.

“I am happy to note that each edition of the awards events has recorded great success and the annual ceremony has grown from strength to strength, both in quality and patronage,” he added.

Mr Henry Teinor, Director of GEA, explained that the key feature of the 2020 awards was the nature of organisational responses to the global pandemic that has ravaged performance of the oil and gas sector.

“For the current crisis in which we find ourselves, this year’s event is paying particular attention to the critical interventions being undertaken by various organisations in the sector to support the ongoing fight against COVID-19, he said, “in terms of safety, security and relief for company staff and more essential for the communities in which they operate.”

Before the nomination period expires, the organising team and the Awarding panel are expected to inspect nominees’ project sites to acquaint themselves with innovative solutions cited by the nominees at their project sites.

“This activity is to inform the panel of the nature of these projects and the magnitude of their impacts,” Mr Teinor added.

Unveiled in 2017, the GEA is an indigenous industry-led initiative endorsed by Ghana’s Ministry of Energy and the World Energy Council Ghana, that recognise the efforts, innovation and excellence of individuals and organisations in the energy sector.

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