The conversion of a giant tanker vessel for the country?s second floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) platform for additional daily production of 80,000 barrels of oil has begun in the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore.

The vessel known as the Centennial Jewel, originally a bulk oil trading tanker, was bought by the TEN Project Partners to be converted into the FPSO for the Tweneboa, Enyira and Ntomme oil fields development known as Project TEN.

When completed, the Project TEN would become the country?s second commercial oil and gas project which would push daily production to 200,000 barrels per day.

Currently, the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah produces a total of 110,000 barrels of oil per day and hopes to ramp up to a plateau of 120,000 barrels per day.

The jubilee project is said to have so far produced more than 84 million barrels and shipped to the international market.

The Centennial Jewel is similar in size to the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, it is about 340 metres long, 56 metres wide and has a nameplate capacity of 80,000 barrels.

The vessel is expected to arrive in the country in the last quarter of 2015 and will be moored to the TEN field to begin the hookup to the subsea structures for testing and completion.

The completion of the FPSO would prepare the Project TEN field for first oil from the second commercial production in 2016.

Local content

It will be recalled that during the development of the first oil fields from the Jubilee Project, which was fast tracked, there was no involvement of Ghanaians in the conversion of the first oil tanker into the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah.

The entire project was executed in Singapore and moved to the country.

In a bid to transfer skills and ensure local participation, the contractor, MODCE, in collaboration with the TEN Partners has opted for the construction of most of the components in the country.

As a result, the TEN Project Partners are investing in the refurbishment of the Tema Shipyard for the local fabrication of the components locally.

The project is expected to build the structures, rehabilitate and take the staff through an up-skilling or training programme that will enhance their capacity in various areas ? welding, mechanics, engineering, electronics, environmental health and safety.

The TEN Project Partners have also indicated that building most of the components locally would ensure skills and technology transfer.

The partners are of the view that local participation in the industry in the areas of contracts and service provision under the Project TEN will be greatly enhanced.

That would ensure employment generation and enhance the capacity of the shipyard to bid for and win other oil and gas related contracts in the sub-region.

It said there were several opportunities within the sub-region and if skills were enhanced and improved, management systems and processes were put in place, the shipyard would be in a position as one of first choice.

The cost of the development of the TEN Project is estimated at more than $6bn and major contracts have been signed with the contractors that will be providing various forms of services to ensure the timely completion of the process for the first oil by 2016.

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