General News of Monday, 7 August 2017
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas), Dr Ben Asante has assured communities around the Atuabo Gas enclave of his commitment to see to their development.
The appointment of Dr Asante as the CEO of Ghana Gas was greeted with missed feelings by the communities around the Atubao Gas enclave with some Nzema youth expressing their displeasure and kicked against his appointment.
The youth described his appointment as a wrong decision adding that he is a mole and an ardent NDC mole and technically bankrupt.
“We are opposing his appointment since he is a total misfit to occupy the position and call on the president to immediately replace him since he is noted to be hostile and arrogant and was brought the former Petroleum Minister to serve his interest,” they said in a statement.
The protest notwithstanding, Dr Ben Asante assumed office as the CEO of Ghana Gas and he has since established a good relationship with the Chiefs and people of communities surrounding the Atuabo Gas enclave.
At a press soire held on Friday, the CEO assured that he has the development of communities at heart and would thus work to achieve that during his tenure.
“For the community engagement, I want to tell them that at this juncture, we have to work together. We have to focus less on where we come from, and more on where we want to go together,” he asserted.
He further assured that the development of the communities in the enclave is a major focus and would be prioritised in the ‘corporate social responsibilities’.
Outlining his vision for the organisation, Dr Asante said his focus was on business development, personnel development and community engagement, explaining that those were the crucial pillars to move the company forward.
On business development, he said, “I want to make sure that we develop this business,” adding that he would focus more on operation and maintenance.
Dr Asante said the company currently produced 50 per cent of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) requirement of the country.
He said the mandate of the company was to make sure that it supplied gas for power generation and for the petrochemical industry, adding, “we want to ensure that power prices are reduced to make it bearable for Ghanaians.”
Referring to the local content policy, Dr Asante said within a short time since the company came on board, it had trained local engineers to handle critical installations in the company.
He announced that currently the Atuabo Plant was entirely manned by local engineers and commended the engineers, the Chinese counterparts, who trained them, as well as the previous administration for the successes chalked up so far.
Answering questions from journalists, Dr Asante assured that the company took security as a critical component of the health, safety and security and environment protocol.
He said the company was aware of what was happening to other oil producing countries such as Nigeria and was putting in place measures to forestall some of those problems.
“We have gone ahead, starting with our gas processing plan to have personnel who are manning the facility 24/7,” he said, adding that even though the pipelines were buried about a metre deep, “when you have a determined person who want to do you harm, they could actually puncture it.”
He said the company was, therefore, installing three cameras, each of which could oversee 30 kilometres to cover the entire 100 kilometre pipeline stretch, “so that when there is any third party incursions on the right of way, we are alerted.”
Dr Asante said similar cameras were also installed off-shore to enable the company to ward off any traffic nearing the off-shore installation.
He further hinted that the company intended to install a leak system that would detect and alert the engineers of any leakage on any part of the pipeline.
Asked about whether the investment in oil and gas was worthwhile, Dr Asante said it was good for the government to attempt to diversify the economy.
“Besides, let us ask ourselves what the situation would have been if oil and gas had not come on stream to add to the revenue of the country,” he said.