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Business News of Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Source: GNA

‘Work not stalled on Gas Processing Project ‘

Construction works on the Gas Processing Plant (GPP) at Atuabo in the Western Region have not stalled, the Engineering Manager of the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC), Mr Robert Lartey, has said.

Mr Lartey said this last Saturday when interacting with a group of journalists at the offices of the GNGC at Atuabo, to update them on the operations at the GPP.

Recent media reports suggested that construction works on the GPP had stalled because of non-availability of funds to execute the project, forcing SINOPEC, the Chinese Construction firm engaged on the project, to vacate the site.

Mr Lartey admitted that the GNGC was experiencing some financial challenges but stressed that such developments had not stalled operations, but instead, slowed down the pace of work on the GPP.

The GPP was initially planned to be part of the Jubilee Oil project development but was later decoupled with the government expressing interest to independently develop it as a state company.

The government expressed the hope to raise about $750 million out of the $3 billion loan been sought from the Chinese Development Bank, to execute the project (GPP).

The journalists visited the project site as part of the “Empowering the Media to Play an Active Watchdog Role over Ghana’s Oil and Gas Revenues and Resources” project, being undertaken by the International Institute of ICT Journalism (Penplusbytes) with funding and technical support from STAR-Ghana.

The six month-long project, which began last week, aims to improve coverage of oil and gas operations through the media, leading to an increase in the quantity and quality of oil and gas stories to ensure that the media played an effective watchdog role over the sector.

A tour of the GPP site showed ongoing construction works on the plant by mostly sub-contractors.

Mr Lartey said so far, a gas pipeline of 60 kilometres had been laid, connecting the Floating, Production, Offloading and Storage (FPSO) Kwame Nkrumah vessel off Cape Three Points and the GPP at Atuabo to transport the associated gas from the Jubilee Partners for processing at the GPP.

He said another 110 kilometres stretch of gas pipeline had been laid, connecting the GPP to Aboadze, to aid electricity generation.

Mr Lartey said the technical plan of the GNGC was to eventually develop the GPP into a petro-chemical industry to produce, amongst others, fertilizer for the agricultural industry.

He said the design of the GPP also took into consideration the projected future developments within the country’s economy, in terms of oil exploration and production to ensure that any amount of gas to be derived could be processed at the GPP.

The Ghana News Agency (GNA) understands that as things stand now, the 150 million standard cubic feet gas per day expected to be processed, will not be enough to satisfy the country’s energy demands in terms of electricity production.

Meanwhile, some local people from Atuabo, engaged as labourers on the project have complained of low remuneration.

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