The has opened an ultra-modern centre to commence operations and give support services to the upstream petroleum sector in the country.
The over $ 20, 000, 000, facility is a leading state of the art centre providing fabrication, engineering and hydraulic services to oil and gas industry, agriculture and the ports and harbours. Mr Barry Williams, the Chief Executive Officer ( CEO) of Harlequin International (Ghana) Limited said from a modest beginning in Tema ,20 years ago, the company had delivered satisfactory services to all its clientele base and had grown into a one -stop facility covering fabrication to hydraulic.
“We are now a preferred and recognised provider for the oil and gas including agriculture “he added. He said though the journey had not been easy, the company with tenacity and support from both clients and employees developed an internationally acclaimed support services.
Mr Williams recounted that 21 years ago in 1997, Ashanti Goldfields invited the company from its base in south Africa to assess what services it could offer them and other companies outside South Africa, with the aim of keeping the business on the African continent and stop moving products all over the world.
Beginning operations from Takoradi in 2003, the world class company, had over the years, provided quality services to numerous companies, individuals, private and the public sector organisations, local and international in the oil and gas industry, ports and harbours and the agricultural sectors.
He said the opportunity came at a greater costs due to long delays in shipping components in and out of the country to meet demands. The Harlequin CEO said in 1998, the company opened a satellite operation in Ghana with an initial investment of $600,000 on 600sq.metre base in Tema with a small workforce of two which had grown to 120 labour force and delivered services mainly to mining , ports and harbour industries and clients throughout the country.
He said the company saw the need to expand and improve its facilities based on industry demands by investing another $4, 000,000 into the Tema project in 2012."With the oil and gas industry, we invested $20, 000, 000 in the world class facility equipped with state of the art equipment to increase capacity and also deliver more quality services to the industry".
"Harlequin has recognised over the past years that it is in the interest of Ghana and our company to look ahead and increase indigenous ownership and management, and to this end, we have now included a group of young Ghanaian businessmen who have acquired a stake in our company, and furthering the indigenisation of Harlequin".
"We feel excited and proud of what we have achieved over the past 20 years. We have grown from a small humble company into a true market leader not only for Ghana, but for all neighbouring countries and as a gateway to the West African region".
The new members of the company, who are all Executive Directors, include Mr Kofi Oduro Mensah, Daniel Hesse -Tetteh and Frederick Herman Hesse -Tetteh."The above financial and human resource investments show Ghana as a safe haven to other investors and we encourage such to look ahead and join us in the challenge towards improving employment, education and social responsibility for all Ghanaians."
Mr Williams said the vision of Harlequin was to become a preferred company and catalyst for range of services across industries through determination, discipline, integrity and hard work. The CEO of Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney, pointed out that Harlequin had proven to become a leading engineering company offering expertise and commitment to clients and reliable services.
He therefore pledged to work with the company to deepen integration of the mining industry with other sectors of the Ghanaian economy, to broaden value chain.
"The drive to ensure that investors put in more resources to improve services in the mining sector is critical as it is meant to create value downstream through job and wealth creation as well spurring economic growth of the country." he added.
Applauding Harlequin for the giant steps in training locals in fabrication and engineering fields, the Deputy Minister, Environment, Science Technology and Innovation, Mrs Patricia Appiagyei, stressed that the country needed to manufacture her own machinery and equipment to achieve the ‘Ghana beyond aid’ agenda.
That, she said would ensure that Ghana took its destiny in her own hands and stopped relying on foreign goods and services adding that Ghana needed to solve local problems with local solutions. "We have to embrace technology, be self -confident and improve the economy. We need to create the means to exploit our natural resources.” Mrs. Appiagyei added.
The Western Regional Minister, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, spoke about the four point agenda of the government including providing the enabling environment and also restoring investors to progress, assuring that Harlequin, a local content programme would become an example to others in providing jobs and a sustainable development in the country.