By Paul Kelechi, West Africa Correspondent
Ghanaian firm Weston Capital has moved the launch date for Ghana Local Content Fund to August 20, 2014.
Aimed at supporting majority-owned Ghanaian companies that provide services for the oil and gas industry, the fund raising campaign slated to launch in mid-June 2014 was postponed because of the ongoing FIFA World Cup event.
The investment firm seeks to raise $17Million (or GH¢50million) to support local firms who do not have the fund to break into the oil and gas industry. “Ghanaian companies participating in the industry are finding it hard to get the needed money to meet the demands of the business,” says Frederick Ofori-Mensah, CEO of Weston Capital. “It takes billions to enter upstream and millions into the downstream.”
Licenced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the fund so raised will focus on investing in services such as engineering, transportation and catering to oil producers as well as refiners and oil-marketing companies.
Entire crude oil production process from appraisal, exploration and production is denominated in US dollar, “which makes it difficult for local indigenous companies to enter the oil and gas industry,” Bubune Sorkpor of Weston Capital told Africa Oil+Gas Report.
“Most oil and gas contract in Ghana are paid for in US Dollars, which makes it difficult for local indigenous companies to enter the oil and gas industry.”
The World Cup delay has provided a wider opening for the fund raising. “We have been speaking with the Petroleum Commission of Ghana on this and have been working closely with them on finding solutions to the challenges relating to raising fund for local content,” Sorkpor explained.
Weston is working very closely with the Oil and Gas Association of Ghana to ensure that contract fund is disbursed equitably and in a timely manner.