President Nana Akufo-Addo has described the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) sales agreement reached between the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and Russian energy giant GAZPROM as “positive” and “one that is going to play a very important role in the economic life of Ghana.”
Per the agreement, GAZPROM, the world’s largest natural gas company, is expected to provide the country with gas capable of adding up to 1,000 MW to power supply.
The deal, a release from the presidency indicated, “replaces two signed competing contracts for the same Tema LNG project by the previous John Mahama government, which were both considered over-priced and over-sized for Ghana.”
The GAZPROM deal, the press statement noted, “has saved the country over a billion dollars, and will see the construction of a regasification terminal at Tema.”
According to President Nana Akufo-Addo, GAZPROM’s decision to establish a base in Ghana is testament to the efforts his government has put in place over the last 8 months to “try to put a better framework in place to encourage private sector participation in the growth of the economy.”
After putting in place measures to improve the country’s fiscal and monetary policy, as well as improve the economic and business climate, the President stated that “we are now focusing on the very key area of power and energy,” it said.
“If we are going to succeed in pushing the industrial development of our country rapidly, the supply of gas to our country is now a matter of very great importance for us,” the president said on Friday, September 15, 2017, when a delegation from GAZPROM called on him at the presidency, after the signing of the Gas Sales Agreement (GSA) between GNPC and GAZPROM.
President Akufo-Addo assured the team from GAZPROM that “all of us are going to do whatever we need to do to make sure that this relationship that we have now begun to build becomes a strong positive and successful one.”
Head International Business at GAZPROM, Mr. Pavel Oderov, described the agreement as “a very big day for us at GAZPROM,” adding that, “Indeed, we have signed, today, the second biggest LNG supply contract in our portfolio.”
“With GAZPROM producing 11% of the world’s gas, we are more than honoured to become a supplier of LNG to Ghana. We are absolutely sure that we will become a reliable partner for the energy industry in Ghana,” he added.
The group was in the country to complete negotiations with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) towards the execution of the contract.
Elaborating on the contract, the Minister of Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko, said Ghana would require a lot more gas as the country stepped up its development agenda.
“If we are to do the bauxite project, agro-chemicals and petro-chemicals and also ensure fuel availability for power generation, then it is necessary that we get gas at the right price. Going out onto the contract market to source for LNG can be very expensive,” Mr Agyarko said.
According to Mr Agyarko, the move will affect the pricing of power, making it cheaper for businesses in order to bring down the cost of doing business in the country and facilitate the growth of more businesses.
“The importance of reducing the cost of producing power is that it allows us to charge a cheaper price for power to our citizens and also to industry so that they would become more competitive in the region, expand their production and be able to offer more employment to our citizens,” he said.
Doing that, Mr Agyarko said, was consistent with the president’s vision of job creation, as a key factor to the nation’s growth and stability.