Good news for gas

The Africa Report - - GHANA FOCUS -

The devel­op­ment of the gas sub-sec­tor pro­vides rel­a­tive re­lief to the in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion strate­gies of the cur­rent gov­ern­ment, as nat­u­ral gas sup­plies are an­tic­i­pated to sup­port power gen­er­a­tion, a mix which cur­rently is ther­mal driven. The Atu­abo gas plant is the cen­tre­piece of the gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts in the gas sec­tor, with the Ghana National Gas Com­pany an­nounc­ing plans to build around 50km of pipe­line to al­low Ghana to ex­port nat­u­ral gas to neigh­bour­ing Côte d’ivoire. The Atu­abo plant cur­rently re­ceives about 150m cu­bic feet of gas per day, which could rise to about 220m by 2024.

A re­cent discovery by Italy’s Eni in May could boost Ghana’s gas production. The com­pany found an es­ti­mated 550bn cu­bic feet of gas some 12km from its Sankofa float­ing production, stor­age and of­fload­ing fa­cil­ity. Eni has yet to make a de­ci­sion over whether it will build the in­fra­struc­ture to tap that re­source, as it was just the first well drilled in Ctp-block 4.

Ghana is us­ing the gas from Sankofa for elec­tric­ity production. A pipe­line was com­pleted in April so that Atu­abo can sup­ply gas to the Volta River Au­thor­ity, a gov­ern­ment-run elec­tric­ity util­ity. Lo­cal com­pany Mar­i­nus En­ergy and Us-based Gen­eral Elec­tric are work­ing on a 93MW plant that would use waste gas that would typ­i­cally be flared. Nat­u­ral gas can also be used to pro­duce fer­tiliser, and the gov­ern­ment of Ghana is in talks with Moroc­can fer­tiliser pro­ducer OCP about the possibilit­y of set­ting up a plant. A de­ci­sion from the Moroc­can firm is not ex­pected un­til 2020. Pres­i­dent Nana Aku­foAddo had made a cam­paign prom­ise to build a fer­tiliser plant in Jo­moro, in Ghana’s Western Re­gion.

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