The absence of what experts described as ‘a regulatory gas master plan’ could greatly affect the country’s gas industry, John-Peter Amewu, a Senior Research Fellow at the Africa Centre for Energy Policy has indicated.
He said “as a country, we do not have any comprehensive gas master plan or policy and without them there is no way we can sell our gas.”
Mr. Amewu, addressing selected journalists who attended a week-long training programme on oil and gas in Accra, noted that the master plan was crucial to any gas developing country because it would provide the framework to regulate the production and commercialization of gas in large quantities.
He called on the government to speed up work on the gas plan, adding that such a plan “would direct the country on pricing, pipeline regulations, transportation and other key areas which will help to segment the industry into various areas.”
In spite of the absence of the plan, work is ongoing to complete the Gas Processing Plant and its associated infrastructure at Atuabo and surrounding communities in the Western region.
The project, which is being undertaken by the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) and its Chinese contractors Sinopec, will process gas from the Jubilee field into clean fuels and feedstock for domestic and export market while promoting the development of the country’s petrochemical industries and eliminate flaring of gas.
Responding to Mr. Amewu’s statement, Victor Kofi Sunu-Attah, a Project Development Manager from the GNGC, indicated that government took steps to establish the plant because it did not want to flare gas while working around the clock to put together a comprehensive plan to manage the emerging industry.
He said “although there is no formal gas master plan in place, Ghana knows what to do with its gas – for industrialization and that is the best master plan we could ever have and it is because we are going to use gas to replace expensive light crude oil which we are using to generate electricity.”
He indicated that “the first 120 million standard cubic feet per day of gas to be processed has got ready market and I do not think we need to go and do a two or three year analysis to know what to do with that gas.”
He said that a gas master plan study, which is ongoing, would be completed and submitted to Cabinet for consideration.
He was hopeful the master plan would be completed soon to ensure its smooth implementation.