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Ghana: Petroleum Commission and Tullow Convert Sargassum Seaweed into Raw Material

In collaboration with Tullow Ghana Limited, the Petroleum Commission has successfully converted Sargassum seaweed into a valuable raw material for use in fishing communities. Previously considered a public nuisance along certain coastal beaches in the country, the Sargassum seaweed posed challenges to fishing activities and threatened the livelihoods of fisherfolk.

“I am glad to announce that hydrofoam bricks made from a mixture of processed seaweed and clay are being produced in Axim and used to construct Ahoto fish ovens, used by our fish processors,” Egbert Faibille Jnr, Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission, has announced.

He is optimistic by the end of the year, it is expected that 100 ovens will be distributed to fishmongers in all the seven coastal Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the Western Region from the seaweed.

“The Ahoto ovens are environmentally friendly and also improve fish hygiene and preservation. The intervention, also seeks to enhance energy efficiency, enhance job creation improve local economy and as well as increase profitability of the project” he said.

Mr. Faibille addressed the Western Regional House of Chiefs at Sekondi during the 8th edition of the Commission’s annual engagement. The chiefs received updates on exploration and production activities, petroleum securities/Health Safety and Environment, Community Relations, and Social Investment, among other topics.

He said, the Commission will continue to coordinate and oversee the implementation of social investment to benefit oil host communities in the Western Region.

On the Exclusive Zone demarcated for safety at sea, Mr. Faibille commended fisherfolks for observing the 500-meter radius, leading to drastic reduction in incursion rate.

“It is gratifying to note that year-on-year, the rate of incursions around petroleum facilities reduced from 36 in quarter three of 2022 to 11 in quarter three of 2023, representing about 69% decrease” he explained.

Mr. Faibille commended the Exploration and Production companies for adopting additional measures to ensure the safety of offshore oil facilities.

“Conversely, I wish to commend ENI Ghana for deploying a security representative on the Navy patrol vessel which will go a long way to address altercations between fishermen and personnel of the Ghana Navy at sea” he said.

“Again, I wish to bring to the attention of the Traditional Authorities that as one of the outcomes of the Commission’s mediating efforts, a Dispute Resolution Committee comprising representatives from the Ghana Navy, Canoe Council, Environment Protection Agency, Exploration and Production Companies as well as the Commission is being formed to promote peaceful co-existence between the security services, Upstream Operators and other users of the marine space”, he added.

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