Deputy Minister of Energy and Petroleum John Abdulai Jinapor has assured that government is working toward ensuring that gas eventually becomes the main source of fuel to power thermal plants in the country, noting that apart from gas being relatively cheaper than Light Crude Oil, it is environmentally friendly and also prolongs the life-span of thermal generation machines.
Mr. Jinapor gave the assurance when he launched the commencement of a LNG feasibility study last week in Accra.
He also commended the Millennium Development Authority for dedicating the second compact of the Millennium Challenge Account Compact toward addressing the power supply challenge of the nation. He further stressed that government will ensure success of the project in its quest to achieve its target of 500MW by 2016.
The Deputy Minister also cited some initiatives of MDA, which has seen some improvement in the living standards of many Ghanaians — notably a link-road in between Ashanti Region and the Afram Plains that has made the transportation of people and foodstuffs easier, and the renovation of the perishable cargo section at Kotoka International Airport.
“I’m delighted the second compact is devoted solely to the energy sector; energy is no doubt the life-force of our economy — without a robust resilient energy sector, industry cannot function; and if that happens, you can’t create the needed jobs to cater for the mass of the populace. This intervention by the United States through MDA couldn’t have come at a better time,” he stated.
He said there is a need for government to look for alternate sources of fuel due to uncertainties in,gas supply from the West African Gas Pipeline Project, adding that choices before government are stark; whether to wait and hope for sufficient natural gas to come on-stream in Ghana from Nigeria, or initiate the Ghana Gas Project to power the country’s thermal plants?
Mr. Kirk Koffi, CEO of the Volta River Authority, on his part emphasised the need for the country look elsewhere for alternative sources of fuel — saying that the country’s current reliance on crude oil is not sustainable for an emerging economy like Ghana, while lauding the US Government for initiating African Power Initiative (API).
Ghana was selected as eligible to develop a second Compact in January, 2011, targetted toward addressing challenges in the energy sector.
The LNG Project is positioned to provide additional, adequate and secure natural gas and address Ghana’s current to medium-term gas deficit, critical to encouraging and leveraging more private sector participation in additional generation to meet the current power generation gap and the targeted 5000MW by 2016.
The feasibility study will be conducted in partnership with the Millennium Development Authority; the National LNG Task Force, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Sector Agencies and key stakeholders in Ghana’s power sector including civil society groups.
The study will determine the strategic location and siting of the LNG infrastructure that will adequately provide for Ghana’s optimum gas requirements for both power and industrial customers.
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