Business News of Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Source: Daily Guide
A recent visit by DAILY GUIDE to Atuabo in the Ellembelle district of the Western region revealed that the construction of the gas processing plant in the area had brought in its wake an upward review of rents of residential accommodation.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that because of the gas project lots of investors as well as those working on the project, scrambled for residential accommodation, particularly at the initial stages of the gas project.
The situation apparently made house owners in the catchment areas of Atuabo, Anokyi and Asemda increase their rents astronomically and the increment had persisted up till now.
Landlords at Atuabo, who used to charge GH¢5.00 per room per month, are now charging GH¢50.00 for the same accommodation per month.
In an interview with DAILY GUIDE, the assemblyman for Atuabo Electoral Area, John Quashie, confirmed the phenomenon and described the situation as an indirect benefit that landlords and ladies in the area were also enjoying from the gas project.
On other benefits, the Atuabo assemblyman noted that most of the corporate social responsibility projects of Ghana Gas were going to be long term ones.
He, however, indicated that in the short term the company had registered the residents on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) free of charge.
He indicated that Ghana Gas had also contracted a firm to rehabilitate the road from Alabokazo junction to Atuabo. He added that the company was also upgrading the CHIPS compound at Atuabo into a health post status.
“The company is also upgrading the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centre and has plans to relocate the centre near the market to the cluster of schools at Atuabo,” Mr. John Quashie disclosed.
The Ghana Gas project is to process 150 million Standard Cubic Feet of raw gas per day from the Jubilee oilfield in the Western Region. Sinopec of China is the lead contractor for the gas project.
The company has already begun processing gas from the offshore Jubilee oil field through a pipeline project.
According to the company, the move could save the government $300 million a year on fuel costs, even with the current steep drop in oil prices.
The Atuabo gas plant is also supplying 50 million cubic feet of gas per day to nearby thermal power generators operated by the Volta River Authority (VRA) power utility at Aboadze near Takoradi.
Apart from the processing of gas, the plant would process raw gas into various components such as lean gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as well as other mineral residues like propane and bitumen.
The lean gas would then be transmitted through the pipelines to the Aboadze metering station for power generation.
Ben Asante, Director of Technical Operations at Ghana Gas, has told reporters that the project remains a vital cushion for the current unreliable gas supply from Nigeria.