The tenure of Alex Mould as CEO of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation has been criticized as burdening Ghana with costly, badly negotiated petroleum deals.
These deals would have cost the country in excess of $1.5 billion in avoidable gas payments.
A good example of this is an LNG deal he signed with Quantum Power.
This deal, along with two others, were seen as so bad for Ghana that when the Akufo-Addo government went into reviewing them, Quantum, in desperation to save the deal managed to reduce the contract sum by a massive 40%!
However, the man seen as one of those vying to be nominated as vice presidential candidate for John Mahama, has waded into the ongoing debate regarding gas supply and the state of the country’s energy sector, questioning the current government’s handling of the gas and power sectors.
Whilst his remarks have been positively received in certain quarters, they have been met more by a tidal wave of criticism from former colleagues at GNPC and energy insiders, all of whom point to the negative impact of a number of contentious transactions completed under his tenure as CEO of GNPC.
Mould was the driving force behind the Quantum Power LNG deal, described by some as one of the worst in Ghana’s history, he was also the driving force behind the controversial Sankofa gas deal and an ambitious LNG terminal in Takoradi that was planned to be built by the Kaheel group. A company controlled by the owners of the equally contentious Amandi power station. His recent emergence, therefore, as a contributor to the debate on Energy matters has led to raised eyebrows.
Industry experts have put to Mould specific questions regarding the LNG contracts he signed with Quantum and Kaheel Group, which if allowed to become effective would have saddled the state with a combined 650mmscf/d of gas to be delivered across Tema and Takoradi for 20 years.
The annual cost of these Quantum and Kaheel contract commitments alone would have been in excess of $1.5bn, when added to the Sankofa gas contract this figure balloons to nearly $2bn.
One of the key questions being asked of the NDC and Mould is the demand and supply rationale that led GNPC to sign LNG regasification contracts for both Takoradi and Tema whilst simultaneously signing a Gas sales agreement with the Sankofa partners?
Matters are made worse by the fact that the former minister of power also signed, in the same year, an agreement, approved by Parliament, that would have led to a further 250 MMscf/d of gas being delivered in Tema by a consortium led by Sahara Energy. This would have piled on a further $750m of gas onto the countries balance sheet. We understand from sources within the government that this contract, with gas priced at a premium to oil prices, and its liabilities is the subject of an ongoing legal dispute.
Faced with a huge liability, one of the first acts of the NPP government was to streamline and restructure the various LNG agreement, renegotiating the price and other commercial terms to save the country more than $1bn through a competitive tender process.