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Energy Minister explains $2.4bn legacy debt bond

The Minister of Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko, has defended the government’s decision to issue a bond to retire the $2.4 billion legacy debt in the energy sector, describing it as a step in the right direction.He explained that the move was to tackle the financial challenges bedevilling power producers and other sectors as a measure to boost their operations.

Mr Agyarko was speaking at a luncheon meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), Ghana in Accra.

The event attracted chief executives and representatives of European business organisations and those of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and was dedicated to the discussion of issues relating to stable power supply, power purchase agreements (PPAs) and renewable energy.

It was on the theme: “Ghana’s energy and petroleum outlook”.

 

Government committed

Mr Agyarko said the government was committed to dealing with power generation issues, including expansion and distribution system improvement.

“Achieving reliable and stable power supply means that efforts must be made to address challenges and also bring about improvement in the entire value chain. For this reason, we are also promoting energy efficiency initiatives to address demand-side management issues,” he said.

 

Renewable energy

The minister disclosed that on the renewable energy front, the ministry was taking steps to increase the penetration in the current energy mix from one to about 10 per cent by 2030.

“The government will, therefore, encourage increased private sector investment in utility scale solar and wind energy projects, as well as accelerate the development of mini-grid solutions in off-grid and island communities for lighting, irrigation and other economic activities,” he said.

Local Content

Mr Agyarko further said the government had developed a number of strategies to maximise the benefit of the exploitation and utilisation of oil and gas resources.

“Key among the strategies is to ensure that the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) becomes a national vehicle for maximising retained value from Ghana’s oil and gas resources.

“Refocusing of the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) to facilitate the growth of local firms and promoting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) incubation centres in the oil and gas industry are also major strategies to be adopted by the government,” he said.

Other strategies he highlighted included ensuring compliance with the local content regulation, Legislative Instrument (L.I.) 2204, which supports capacity building for Ghanaians at all levels of the oil and gas value chain.

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Reporting Oil and Gas project was launched on 4th June 2009atTakoradi, Western Region, Ghana by Penplusbytes (PPB – www.penplusbytes.org) with the vision of providing a one stop online information and knowledge about Ghana’s oil and gas sector
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