The Government Assurances Committee of Parliament yesterday hauled the Minister of Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Gas Company, Dr George Sipa Yankey, as well as other officials of the company at Atuabo, to its public sitting.
The meeting was necessitated by the company’s inconsistent assurances to the nation regarding the supply of gas to fully power the nation’s thermal plants.
A firm assurance was given by the government that by December, 2014 full operation of Ghana Gas would come on stream but when the minister and his team from the gas company appeared before the committee, the goal post was shifted again to April 1 this year.
According to Dr Sipa Yankey and his technical director in-charge of operations, Dr Ben Asante, the company is currently working at half capacity, which is producing 74 million standard cubic feet, and that the full operations of 150 million standard cubic feet of gas would begin in April.
Mr Buah said the government was very much concerned about the need for the gas to be available to bolster energy production in the country.
When he was asked by the ranking member, Joe Baidoe-Ansah, about the fact that the production of gas at Atuabo had resulted in the flaring of liquefied petroleum gas, the minister said it was a chemical which was being flared and accepted the fact that the chemical could be sold for revenue, adding that the government was putting in place measures to commercialise the chemical.
The ranking member also asked whether the ministry had immediate plans to pipe gas to Tema to fire thermal plants such as Asogli. The minister said plans were afoot to do that.
Armah Kofi Buah also revealed that the government has a Gas Master Plan to supply gas to all parts of the country for both industrial and domestic use.
The Ghana Gas officials also revealed at the committee sitting that the total cost of the construction of the plant was $1 billion, with 85% from the China Development Bank and 15% government funding.
During the committee’s tour of the company, it was realised that the project was 99.78% complete.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr
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