President John Mahama says the expected benefits to the country from the Gas Processing Plant in Atuabo will be the game changer, as he looks forward to the start of operations by Ghana’s first ever gas plant.
“This project is much anticipated by Ghanaians. It is going to be a game changer. It would even help our macroeconomic stability in terms of reducing the pressure on our foreign exchange reserves. It would save us almost half a billion dollars a year in light crude purchases, and another billion dollars in foreign exchange savings for the purchase of light crude oil, and that is because the VRA will be able to purchase the gas in Cedis”, the President said after a final tour of the Atuabo Gas Plant.
The plant will produce four different products from the raw or wet gas it will receive. This includes 107 million standard cubic feet of lean gas per day, 500 tonnes of LPG a day, 80 tonnes of pentane and 45 tons of condensates per day. The project, which started in July 2012, is moving from the engineering to the testing and commissioning phase, and to the President, “the multiplier effect of this project would be enormous for our economy.”
Overall, the project is 99.87% complete, according to officials of the Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas). A safety audit is about to start to be followed by other tests and a tie-in of the plant to the FPSO.
Mr. Mahama commended the management of Ghana Gas and the main contractors, Sinopec, for a good job, disclosing that the plant caused the economy about $800 million.
“But if you take the net worth of this plant as it is, you come and value it today, it is worth over a billion dollars. And so I believe that we have really had value for money”, the President added in answer to a question from journalists at the plant.
Looking into the future, President Mahama said the economy has very bright prospects in the medium term, optimistic that the coming on stream of the TEN field and the ENI projects not only will the country’s oil production move up to about 200,000 barrels a day, but also more gas to help boost energy generation.
The President says his vision of an increased generation capacity of 5000 MW of power is on cause to position Ghana as a self-sufficient energy producer and net exporter to the other countries.
“The important thing about this gas is that it allows us to have energy security in terms of putting in more thermal production and it fits into our programme of turning Ghana into the energy hub of West Africa. All the companies that we have signed Memorandum of Understandings with for installation of IPP thermal plants will feel secure to go ahead because they know that by the time they finish their thermal projects, gas will be available to power those projects”, he explained.