By Adu Koranteng
The aspiring Member of Parliament for Dormaa East, Paul Apraku Twum Barimah has lauded the president of Ghana, Nana Akufo Addo for passing the petroleum Hub Bill which seeks to establish the Petroleum Hub Development Corporation to promote and develop a petroleum and petrochemicals hub in the country.
Speaking in an Interview, Mr Twum Barimah revealed that the Petroleum Hub project is part of the strategic development initiatives of the government to promote socio-economic growth and is targeted at strategically positioning Ghana as a hub for the petroleum downstream industry in the West African sub-region and the world at large. It will be designated as a free zone area to be situated within the Bonyere Traditional Area in the Jomoro District in the Western Region.
He said the petroleum and petrochemicals hub would be engaged in the supply of petroleum and petrochemical products to satisfy the demands of the domestic market and the West African sub-regional market. “This project will see to an increase in the presence of major international oil trading and storage companies, while encouraging public-private partnerships and joint ventures between local companies and international companies.
“This will invariably result in knowledge transfer and wealth creation. The project involves the establishment of major infrastructure for refining and processing petrochemicals in addition to the discharge, storage, distribution, transportation and trading of petroleum products,” he stated said. Factors that fuelled the initiative were the central location of the country in the West-African sub-region, political and macroeconomic stability, and access to the West African sub-regional market and proximity to international shipping routes.
In achieving this goal, is the need for the development of infrastructure such as refineries, port terminal facilities, storage facilities as well as petrochemical and liquefied natural gas terminals with a network of pipelines. The project requires a total land size of about 20,000 acres to be provided with the relevant amenities including a railway, road and air transportation network.
“Other key infrastructure requirements include the construction of jetties, storage tanks, refineries, a liquefied natural gas facility, a hub transmission infrastructure, power plants, petrochemical plants and, a lube bending plant together with transmission and storage infrastructure for land-locked countries,” it said.
The project, will further require the construction of infrastructure to provide support services for offshore activities including nautical services, repair and maintenance facilities, exploration and rig equipment servicing as well as off-dock yard and dry-dock facilities for the repair of vessels, engineering and decommissioning.
Furthermore, ancillary infrastructure requirements for the development of the hub included a water treatment facility, waste management centre, a laboratory and a light to medium industrial area. This will be in addition to the provision of social amenities including health and educational facilities, a security and emergency response facility, residential and commercial facilities, among others.
The estimated cost for developing the petroleum and petrochemical hub is $60 billion. Out of this amount, it is expected that 90 per cent of the cost will be borne by private sector investors while the remaining 10 per cent will be borne by the government.
ACHIEVEMENT OF NPP GOVERNMENT IN ENERGY SECTOR
Paul Twum Barimah Touted the performance of the Akufo Addo government in the energy sector as the greatest achievement in the 4th republic with the removal of Dumsor in the system.
“It is obvious now that we have enjoyed three and half years of reliable and cheaper power,” he stated.
We have spent in excess of GH¢4.7 billion on capacity payments, not only to ensure that we keep the lights on, but also pay for power we do not use under very questionable contractual obligations we inherited.
Explaining the NPP’s 2020 manifesto on energy in an interview with the New Crusading Guide, Mr Twum Barimah who is also an energy expert said “Ending DUMSOR, which cost the Ghanaian economy an estimated US$680 million in 2014 alone, translating into about 2% of GDP is one of the great achievements of the NPP government alongside Free Senior High School, Planting for Food and Jobs, One Village One Dam, One District one factory among others.
“We developed The Integrated Power System Master Plan for Ghana in 2018 as the Master Plan for the power sector. Our government is the first in the history of the 4th Republic to have reduced electricity prices in cumulative terms of -11% compared to a cumulative increase of +265% under the Mahama-led NDC Government. We have passed the General Petroleum Regulations, which provided significant transparency reforms including a requirement to disclose beneficial ownership information in Petroleum Agreements, and disclose marketing contracts signed by GNPC, as well as Corporate Social Responsibility projects.”
He further stated that “ We have established the National Register of Contracts/Register of Petroleum Agreements as provided for by the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act (2016), Act 919 which the NDC refused to do and applied Open and Competitive Bidding for, and conducted Ghana’s first open bidding round for, oil blocks.
“On January 13, 2020, Government finalized all payments in respect of the BDC debts. A total of US$1.003 billion was paid in full and final settlement of the legacy debt The National Petroleum Authority has been effective in implementing petroleum price deregulation. Since 2017, it has not intervened in the automatic price determination mechanism, and continues to make use only of the price stabilization mechanisms provided by the law. NPA has revised the sulphur content standards from 3,000ppm to 50ppm (equivalent to European Standards), which are being currently implemented” he stated
“Besides, the Akufo-Addo government has approved The Energy Sector Recovery Programme, which is being implemented to bring about long-term financial sustainability of the sector. In addition to completing a comprehensive technical and financial evaluation of several power plants, we are pursuing several recommendations under the programme to ensure the financial viability of the sector”.
Mr Twum Barimah said The Accelerated Oil & Gas Capacity Development (AOGC) Programme was launched by the President of the Republic in November 2017. According to him, The Secretariat has been established and MOUs signed with three UK institutions: Aberdeen Skills and Enterprise Training Academy (ASET), Glasgow Caledonia University (GCU), and Aberdeen Drilling School (ADS) to start the program. He noted that Funding of US$4.5 million has been concluded with Aker Energy and the first batch of beneficiaries have completed their training in Canada
“Domestic gas price has been reduced from $8.40 per mbtu from when the NDC was in government to $6.08 currently as a result of the review in levies (e.g. reduction of regulatory levies from 40cents to 10cents). We have reversed the decision by the previous Government to combine the two entities.”
“Under our government, We have concluded a 2-D seismic survey which was started in 2018. The data is being processed to interpret it. Early assessment has been encouraging. GNPC will drill two wells to establish the extent of accumulation of crude oil A Regulation is being prepared for consideration by Parliament on energy conservation. New standards are being applied on air conditioners among others. In addition, we have procured 13 million pieces of LED bulbs which are being distributed. This will save about 150MW of power daily.”
National Hybrid Power Projects in progress at Bui as well as under the Pwalugu Project.The sod for the construction of the operational headquarters of GNPC in the Western Region has been cut. Currently being implemented under the Accelerated Oil & Gas Capacity Development (AOGC) Programme. Under the over US$4.7 million programme, some 335 Ghanaian youth are receiving global-standard technician training in Ghana and abroad. “
“In addition, some Ghanaians are also receiving training as technical instructors. We have restructured BOST accordingly. When the NDC left office, BOST owed $624 million to suppliers, BDCs and related parties. Under the NPP, as at February 2020, the outstanding debt has been reduced drastically. Additionally, BOST was running significant net losses between 2013 to 2016, reaching a net loss of GH¢569 in 2016. Under the NPP, there has been a 70% reduction in losses in 2018 and a further 41% in 2019.”
“Karpowership relocated and achieved full conversion of engines for utilization of natural gas instead of heavy fuel oil (HFO) 180. Clear all government debts owed to ECG Government debts owed to ECG fully paid as of March 2020
So for me, looking at all these performance of the NPP government in the last and half years, nobody will doubt the competence of the Akufo Addo government and we must give the government four more years to do more.