The CEO of Ghana National Gas Company, Dr. Ben Asante, has welcomed the move by government to create an escrow account for the energy sector that will ensure all suppliers of products and services to companies in the sector are paid promptly.
The escrow account dubbed the ‘Cash Waterfall Mechanism’, is expected to end the accumulation of debt in the sector.
The Volta River Authority (VRA) currently owes Ghana Gas to the tune of US$735million.
The situation, Ghana Gas told a press conference, has affected its operations since VRA alone constitutes up to 90 percent of its clientele.
The cash waterfall mechanism will see to it that all suppliers of goods and services to companies in the energy sector are paid by a third-party and not directly by the company, thereby avoiding the situation wherein companies mount-up debts and pay as they wish.
“The waterfall mechanism essentially has all the receipts that are coming down the value chain of the power sector going to one escrow account. Then, whoever has supplied either services or fuel, you will be paid from that escrow. So, we don’t have any government entity holding the entire purse and giving money out when and as they see fit; it is going to be managed by a third-party.”
Strides the company has made
De Asante said the use of processed gas from Atuabo Gas Processing Plant for power generation in place of light crude oil yielded an average saving of about US$42.6million as compared to US$38.6million in 2015.
The rise in the savings, he said, was due to a 43 percent increase in the price of light crude oil at US$84.7 per barrel from US$59.3 per barrel in 2017.
Again, the company as of last year supplied 40 percent of domestic LPG demand – the highest since it began commercial operations in 2015, and reducing the country’s LPG import bill by US$47million.
On corporate social responsibility, Ghana Gas undertook a number of projects in the health, education and sports sectors.
It registered 1,350 people under the National Health Insurance Scheme for residents in Atuabo; and constructed an 8-seat water closet toilet and mechanized boreholes in the Allabokazo community.
In education, it constructed a four-unit teacher’s quarters in the Anokyi and Asemnda Suazo communities. It also constructed an ultra-modern nursery facility at Asemnda Suazo.
And in sports, the company made cash donations to Karela United and the Nzema Kotoko football clubs.