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ACEP offers policy options on gas development

Mohammed AminThe Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has presented a policy option document to the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, aimed at contributing to the development of a national gas policy.

Executive Director of ACEP, Mohammed Amin Adam who presented the document, said while there is so much focus on oil, gas is much more critical to the economic transformation of Ghana  a reason consensus must be built on a robust national gas policy.

Chief Director of the Ministry, Prof. Thomas Akabza who received the document, thanked ACEP for a “proactive move”, saying his outfit will study the document and see how it fits into government’s plans on gas .development.

The Ministry, he said, is in the process of developing a Legislative Instrument on gas pricing policy to inform the development of gas in the country.

In the document, ACEP recommends among other things  the development of infrastructure for the domestic gas market including gas gathering , gas processing, transportation and distribution  as well as breaking the Ghana Gas Company’s monopoly in the  sector to allow for the deepening of competition in gas exploration by the introduction of an open and competitive bidding process for concession rights.

“Thus, there should he open and non-discriminatory access to infrastructure including gas processing and transmission facilities, and to electricity grids (to sell electricity produced on-site from associated gas).

Also, it is important to encourage reasonable tariffs and conditions of access for use by third parties of the infrastructure facilities existing along the supply chain, and for the sale of gas to the end consumers.”

It further recommends that Local Distribution Companies should be private companies licenced to operate in the domestic gas market, and they must be given permits and exclusive rights to construct their pipelines in approved zones or to approved consumers.
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This is to ensure quality and standardization across the country .Granting of exclusive rights must be done through a competitive tendering process.

On impact-mitigation, ACEP recommends that government gives industry greater flexibility and autonomy over how it achieves better environmental performance.

“This is achieved principally by encouraging or requiring industry to adopt certain processes and an environmental management system (EMS). This involves the assessment and control of risk and the creation of an in-built system of maintenance and review. It is capable of not only assisting an organisation to achieve its environmental goals, but also of building in continuous improvement and embedding cultural change on environmental issues within the organisation. The most popular form of EMS will almost certainly be one that complies with the International Standards Organisation’s (ISO).”

Source: B&FT

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