The Port city of Takoradi, in the Western Region, will from the next couple of days witness the largest haulage of metals, as the Ghana National Gas Company Limited (Ghana Gas) starts taking delivery of line-pipes for the construction of a 110-kilometre pipeline that will wheel processed gas from Atuabo in the Ellembelle district to Aboadze, Takoradi.
The Business Analyst sources within Ghana Gas indicate that the company will on Wednesday take delivery of the first consignment of 20-inch line-pipes measuring 30-km in total, for the construction of the onshore pipelines, with the remaining 80-km expected in the country on 10th August, 2012.
With the arrival of the line-pipes, construction activities are expected to move into full gear by mid-August, as indications are that environmental impact assessment (EIA) scoping report on the project has already been completed. Ghana Gas, a fortnight ago signed a substantive agreement with Sinopec, which will trigger the disbursement of the CDB facility.
Meanwhile, the 150-million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) capacity gas processing plant is also being pre-fabricated for reassembling in Ghana by the end of the year. The processing plant would be sited at Atuabo from where, under the Early Phase, natural gas from the Jubilee Field would be processed into dry gas, primarily, to fuel the Volta River Authority (VRA) Aboadze Thermal Plant, which currently runs on crude oil.
Also, enumeration of crops along the 50-metre width pipeline route for compensation purposes is being worked upon by the Lands Valuation Division of the Lands Commission, The Business Analyst gathered. Towards the construction of the project, Ghana Gas, in November 2011 entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sinopec International Petroleum Service Corporation of China, for the construction and commissioning of the early phase gas infrastructure in the Western Region.
The Chinese firm, under the MOU, was to implement the project ahead of the disbursement of the $850Million loan from the China Development Bank (CDB), which was initially approved by Parliament in August last year. The final approvals for the $850m and another $ 150m for ICT-Enhanced National Security project in April this year, signaled the first green light to accessing a third of the $3billion CDB loan.
Subsidiary agreements for the $850million for the Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure Project and $150million for the Integrated ICT Communication Surveillance (oil-gas) projects were the first two of nine subsidiary agreements approved by Parliament earlier this year, together with an Offtaker Agreement. President John Mahama, then Vice President of Ghana, led the country’s delegation to the signing ceremony in Beijing, China, where he was quick to point out that the country’s oil was not being used as collateral for the loan, since the loan would not be paid off using that natural resource.
“China has emerged as a significant source of credit to Africa, traditionally our partners have been the World Bank and the IMF,” he had said in an interview, in which he was quoted to have observed that “The process for accessing World Bank and IMF credit has been unfortunately quite tiresome and comes with a lot of strings.”
Among the Ghana delegation to the signing ceremony were the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Mr. Ato Ahwoi, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Gas, Dr. George Adjah-Sipa Yankey, Ghana’s Ambassador to China, H. E. Mrs. Helen Mamie Cofie.
The $3billion facility was the result of a framework agreement for CDB’s Comprehensive project finance facility for Ghana, which was signed on September 20, 2010 during late President John Evans Atta Mills’ State Visit to China at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao. It was to extend bilateral economic cooperation to the mobilization of financing for Ghana’s development agenda. The facility is to prosecute the country’s medium-term vision, Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA), which was submitted to Parliament in 2010 by former President Mills, in compliance with the constitutional requirement that he provided a development agenda for the country within two years of assumption of office.
“The goal is to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the oil and gas sector operations, value-adding industrial minerals processing ventures, and agro-industrial ventures,” a memorandum on the MFA from Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor to Parliament last year asserted. Dr. Yankey, has meanwhile stated that the project will be on stream in December this year, giving two months allowance which will take it to the first quarter of year 2013.