President John Dramani Mahama in delivering his maiden State of the Nation address to the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana says Government’s overall objective for the energy sector is to ensure reliable, stable and progressively cheap power for economic development in the country and the wider West African region.
In the address, the president said gas from Ghana’s western field provides enough flexibilities and cost-efficient ways of additional power generation. To this end, work is progressing steadily on the Gas Infrastructure Project at Atuabo in the Elemebelle district of the Western Region, when completed by the end of the second quarter of 2013; it will help expand the system to achieve the planned 5,000 MW capacity of power generation by 2016.
On local content in the oil and gas sector, he said an Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) with support from the Jubilee Partners will be fully operational this year which forms part of measures to promote local content and participation in the petroleum industry.
The EDC will be located in the Western Region to facilitate the training of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to be properly positioned to take advantage of the oil and gas industry.
On the issue of security in the oil and gas industry, President Mahama said Security for oil and gas continues to be a major priority and assured Ghanaians that the Navy, Air force and Army have been retooled to establish a safe and secure corridor for Ghana’s oil and gas sector, and added that there will be continuous provision of security for both onshore and offshore oil and gas infrastructure against disruptive threats and theft while putting in place anti-pirate infrastructure.
He concluded by saying his government will “place emphasis on integrating community groups into protection arrangements thereby supporting employment growth even as the government undertakes a comprehensive assessment of risks to Ghana’s maritime assets including downstream and onshore facilities such as pipelines’’.