Gas from Ghana’s Jubilee Field will be pumped into the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) in the first half of 2013 for ECOWAS countries to access.
The move is to ensure that member states that do not have access to gas to benefit from the resources while it serves as income generating avenue for the country.
President John Dramani Mahama made this known in a speech read on his behalf at the closing ceremony of a forum on Sustainable Energy for All in West Africa (SE4ALL) in Accra.
The one-week conference was attended by participants from ECOWAS and other countries.
The participants issued a communique which spelt out the various actions needed to achieve the goals of the SE4ALL initiative in the West African sub-region.
It was organised by the ECOWAS Commission in partnership with the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy (GFSE), the United Nations Industrial and Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The President said, ‘’ It is only through co-operation, sharing and the pooling of our combined intellectual property, assisted to a large extent by the commitment of our private sectors, that a new dawn of a better quality of life will break on our people’’.
According to President Mahama, Ghana’s sustainable growth rate of around six percent in recent years had laid the foundation for a healthy economic growth that required a sustainable availability of energy to bring the ECOWAS region to middle-income status.
He said the country’s national target was to achieve universal access to electricity and energy by 2016, stressing that “this will be done by increasing power generation from the present 2,443 megawatts to around 5,000 megawatts in that time span’’.
President Mahama observed that the recent national audit of energy had indicated the necessity to consolidate and improve the stock of various thermal, hydro and gas based sources of energy.
That, he said, would help achieve sufficient and sustainable supply of energy as well as cost-effective generation of power in the country, adding that the country intended to make full use of its gas resources to produce the energy.
President Mahama said Ghana hoped to bring on stream the Bui Hydro Dam to compliment the national output by 400 megawatts by the end of the first quarter of 2013.
‘’This will be followed by the development of a series of mini-hydro power projects with capacities below 100 megawatts, especially in our northern savannah zone,’’ he said.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Kadre Desire Oudraogo, expressed worry that despite the enormous energy resources, the Ecowas region continued to face significant challenges in energy delivery.
‘’ Less than 30 percent of the population has access to electricity or the services it provides, with traditional biomass accounting for 80 percent of domestic energy needs of the population,’’ he said.
In a speech read on his behalf, the UN General Secretary, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, underscored the need for member states to adopt practices that would attract fundings from the private sector into the energy system.