Energy Commission, regulator of Ghana’s natural gas industry, has dismissed claims by John-Peter Amewu, a Senior Research Fellow at the Africa Centre for Energy Policy, that the country has no framework to regulate its gas production and commercialization.
According to the Commission, Sections 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 of the Energy Commission Law (Act 541, 1997) clearly outlined government’s policy on natural gas and the regulatory framework that governed the industry.
In its September 12, 2012 edition, CITY & DAILY GUIDE published a statement issued by Mr. Amewu which stated that Ghana lacked ‘a regulatory gas master plan’.
The research fellow noted that “as a country, we do not have any comprehensive gas master plan or policy and without that, there is no way we can sell our gas.”
But Victor Kofi Sunu-Attah, Project Development Manager of the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) was the first person to react to Mr. Amewu’s assertion.
According to him, the company that was executing the gas processing plant, a subsidiary of Sinopec noted that government took steps to establish the plant because it did not want to flare gas while working around the clock to put together a comprehensive plan to manage the emerging industry.
He said “although there is no formal gas master plan in place, Ghana knows what to do with its gas – for industrialization and that is the best master plan we could ever have and it is because we are going to use gas to replace expensive light crude oil which we are using to generate electricity.”
He added that a gas master plan study, which is ongoing, would be completed and submitted to Cabinet for consideration.
However, Victor Owusu, Public Relations Officer of Energy Commission, stated that there were plans in place for the gas industry.
These, he said, included a “natural gas utilization options for Ghana, prepared in 2010; licence application manual for service providers in the natural gas supply industry; natural gas transmission access code and a natural gas transmission and distribution infrastructure plan, prepared in 2007.
It added that recommendations based on studies conducted addressed the following: Policy Regulation, Market Development, Ownership and Operatorship, Network Expansion, Supply Risk Management.
According to the Commission, “All these pieces of legislations, strategies and plans have been proactively put together long before production of natural gas at the Jubilee field even started.
“This was envisaged to ensure that the necessary policies, regulatory and technical frameworks are in place to create the needed conducive atmosphere for the industry to thrive.”
It noted that the Commission would continue to play its role as mandated by the Act.