The President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, says the coming on board of the Atuabo Gas Processing Project holds exciting prospects for national economic development.
Among other things, he said, the national currency, which had suffered a tumble in value against the major international currencies in recent times, would see a strong revival, while foreign reserves would witness massive appreciation.
Speaking to journalists after touring the project site at Atuabo in the Western Region yesterday, President Mahama expressed satisfaction with the work done so far and said, “Hopefully, I will come back before the end of this year to commission this project.”
Officials said work done was about 99.87 complete.
Work is moving from the engineering stage to the commissioning stage.
The plant will, among other benefits, produce 120 million standard cubic feet of raw gas per day and 500 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas per day, which represents about 75 per cent of the current national demand.
Currently it costs Ghana about $1 billion to purchase light crude oil to generate power annually.
The gas to be supplied by Ghana Gas Company (Ghana Gas), managers of the project, will cut the cost by about half.
The President stated that with the kind of prudent measures being taken by the government to strengthen the energy sector, Ghana was on course to becoming the energy hub of West Africa in the near future.
He mentioned, for instance, the development of the Sankofa Oilfields, saying: “From 2016, we should be getting more revenue from oil and gas.”
Although the prospects in the energy sector looked bright, the President said expectations with regard to pricing must not be so high.
That, he said, was because a lot went into the pricing of petroleum products.
He commended the management of Ghana Gas for the “great work” they had done so far.
The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Gas, Dr George Sipa Yankey, said the gas plant was a national asset that every Ghanaian should be proud of, since the nation would be making a lot of savings on foreign exchange spent on importing gas.
He commended the President for his tremendous interest and support for the project.
The Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, said the Local Content Law for the oil and gas sector was generating positive results.
The Director of Technical Services for Ghana Gas, Mr Ben Asante, who updated the President on progress of the project, said the fact that the Volta River Authority would purchase gas from the plant in the local currency was a huge advantage to economic development.
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