A team of oil experts from CH2M-Hill, a United Kingdom (UK) based firm which the Government of Ghana (GoG) has engaged to conduct feasibility studies on how to construct under sea pipelines to wheel Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) from Atuabo to fire the Aboazde Thermal plant, has held its first meeting with the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.
The project, which is being sponsored by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), under its Compact II agreement with the government, is aimed at ensuring sufficient and reliable power supply in the country.
At the meeting, the Deputy Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr. John Abdulai Jinapor, noted that Ghana was a poor country and cannot continue to depend on crude oil to power Aboadze thermal plant which generates 360 megawatts at the cost of US$185 million yearly.
He said governments, over the years, had made conscious efforts to increase power supply, for which the Bui hydro dam was initiated to supplement Akosombo Hydro Dam.
To meet industrial and domestic power demand, he noted, the country needs to build hydro dams across the nation, "but Ghana doesn't have the means."
"In the first quarter of the year, we were having challenges with power supply, which led to load shedding. If you check GDP at the time, you realise that it really had negative impact on the economy," he asserted.
"As we look at generation, we should also look at distribution of power to consumers," he noted.
The US Ambassador to Ghana, H. E Gene A. Cretz, pledged his country's commitment to elevate poverty and ensure efficient power supply for the country.
He said the study was one component of the project to be undertaken, adding that the country should not only consider infrastructure development alone, but restructure and rethink about the energy sector.
Other members present at the conference were, the Volta River Authority Chief Executive Officer, Ing. I. Kirk Koffi, who pledged full support for the project.
The study will be conducted in partnership with the Millennium Development Account (MiDA), National LNG Force, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, sector agencies and key stakeholders, including civil society groups.