The Chief Executive officer of ENI Ghana, Roberto Daniele, has encouraged more Ghanaian entities to venture into the energy sector to ensure success for the industry, stressing that local content is key to the sector’s success.
“Local content is key to success of the industry. It is something that ENI is always pursuing around the world, and we are doing the same here in Ghana. I really hope that Ghanaian businesses will increase; but even now, there is a very good presence of Ghanaian businesses in the industry,” he told the B&FT on the sidelines of the Ghana Energy Summit 2019 organised by the B&FT and Energy Ministry in Accra.
He said this is something that everyone must support and encourage, to get more local businesses in the industry to take advantage of the oil and gas industry.
“For sure, this is something we must never stop championing. More local companies should get into the market and take advantage of the oil and gas business,” he said.
Following the 2007 oil find, pressure was mounted on government to draft a local content policy for the oil and gas sector.
The policy document is comprehensive and addresses all aspects of local content in the quest to realise maximum benefits from the oil and gas sector.
It is envisaged that these actions will lead to the creation of a self-sustaining and buoyant economy
However, given almost 10 years of producing oil in commercial quantitites, not much has been done to lure more Ghanaians into the oil sector, especially the upstream which is believed to require technical expertise and is capital intensive.
Speaking at the summit, the Chief Executive of Ghana Gas, Mr. Ben Asante, said operation of the gas company is 100 percent indigenous.
“All the pipes and are being handled by Ghanaians. I am not saying that we pay them cheaply, but they are cheaper; and most importantly, they will be able to pass on the experience to those who come after them – and that’s how you sustain an industry,” he said.
In a related development, there is a debate for the government to expand the definition of local content to include the types of energy resources available in the country.
During the local content session of this year’s Ghana Energy Summit in Accra, panelists of the session argued that limiting the local content definition to only local participation will not develop the energy sector.
“We need to expand the definition of local content to include the type of renewable energy we have,” said Sherrie Thompson, founder of Sun Shade Energy.
“We should harness our part of the wind and sun energy industry – we need to invest; we are the investors that will make and grow our own industry.”
According to her, to ensure local content participation, all the oil companies should be listed on Ghana Stock Exchange.
She said if that happens, the country will not be talking about government owning 10 or 15 percent – the people will rather have ownership by getting a dividend from their ownership from stock.
“Do we have energy stocks and energy bonds, and if not, why don’t we?” she asked.
“How can we participate? When the oil and gas companies are part of the Ghana Stock Exchange and are paying dividends to the people, that becomes local content participation,” she added.