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Business News of Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Source: GNA

Ghana’s Energy sector to transform – Ambassador

Ghana’s energy sector would turnaround within two to three years and lead to national socio-economic transformation, Mr Gene Cretz, United States Ambassador to Ghana, has said.

He said following his country’s approval of the $500 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact for Ghana, coupled with the offshore oil and gas coming online, Ghana’s energy sector would see a dramatic change.

“We’ve signed the MCC Compact, which is the second one for Ghana, it's very rare for the US to provide a country with a second compact; this is going to focus on improving the generation, distribution and access to power throughout the country,” Ambassador Cretz said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the weekend in Accra, on the sidelines of the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge Awards ceremony.

Mr Cretz said: “The MCC Compact project is also going to bring in over $3 billion dollars with the private sector investment in the country. We have General Electric and other companies also working to help provide gas to power. We are also hopeful that the Atuabo Gas Plant Project will be coming online.”

He said American companies were working in the Gulf of Guinea to bring in more oil and gas to help satisfy Ghana’s power requirement.

“So I think over the next year we will be focusing on these kinds of initiatives that we have started and are doing well in development," he said.

The Ambassador said there was hope for Ghana’s energy sector, emphasing that,“if you put together all of these different pieces of the puzzle, MCC will make a dramatic improvement in the power sector. These projects that we are doing will bring power to people who are off the grid.”

“We, as Americans, believe in the future of Ghana, we believe in the people of Ghana and the initiative shown by the people of Ghana as exemplified by these three fine projects is indicative to us of the talents, commitment and dedication that we find among the people of Ghana,” the Ambassador said.

The three Ghanaian companies, each of which was awarded a grant of $100,000, are Solar Light Company Limited, Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture (KITA) and New Energy.

They submitted entries for innovative energy solutions that could be deployed to power socio-economic activities within communities in Ghana that are not connected to the national grid.

The Off-Grid Energy Challenge is part of "Power Africa," President Barack Obama’s Initiative to increase access to reliable, affordable, clean and sustainable power in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It is under auspices of General Electric, United States Africa Development Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development.