Parliament on Thursday approved the Subsidiary Agreement between Ghana and China Development Bank Corporation (CDB) for 850 million dollars to finance the Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure Development Project.
This is the main thrust of government’s agenda for national economic transformation.
Government, with the legislative approval to contract the money , expects to maximise the exploration of gas from the Jubilee Oil Field and other future gas discoveries.
The credit facility is part of the Master Facility Agreement between the Government and CDB for three billion dollars to finance infrastructural development projects under the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda.
Government has harped on the need to commercialise the natural gas from the Jubilee Field, stating that the speedy development of the Western Corridor Gas Project was critical for reliable supply of the commodity to operate thermal power plants.
The project, which is to be developed by the newly-created Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) would include a pipeline from the Jubilee Field to the Osagyefo Power Barge and another to connect Takoradi Thermal Power Complex and the West African Gas Pipeline Project.
The motion for the approval of the facility was moved by the Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament and MP for Ketu North James Klutse Avedzi and seconded by Haruna Iddrisu, MP for Tamale South and Paapa Owusu Ankomah, MP for Sekondi.
Mr Iddrisu said the project would address value addition to the oil discovery, and promote a diversified economy that would create opportunities for the development of the oil industrial enclave in the Western Region.
He said the project would provide the opportunity for other areas in the Region to benefit from that facility, saying that Ghana would be the ultimate beneficiary of the project.
Paapa Owusu Ankomah urged government, in view of the enormous benefits that would accrue from the oil discovery to invest in social interventions if it is really committed to the development of the Region.
He said government should invest in special projects to build the capacity of the indigenes to compete favourably for opportunities in the industry.
The GNGC, a fully-owned State organisation under the Ministry of Energy, which will implement the project, has engaged Sinopec International Petroleum Service Corporation of China, after it signed a Project Implementation Agreement with it in November 2011, under which the Chinese firm is responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of the Gas Processing Plant.
Sinopec, under the agreement with GNGC, is pre-financing the ongoing work, until Ghana accesses the credit facility from CDB.