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Mahama deserves credit for indigenous gas utilisation – a former Energy Minister

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Former President John Dramani Mahama deserves every credit for indigenous gas utilisation and its associated savings and not President Nana Akufo-Addo, that’s according to a former Minister of Energy, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah.

He said ENI project and the 450 megawatts Karpowership were part of the legacy projects of former President Mahama and the Government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which the President Akufo-Addo led Administration must acknowledge.

Mr. Armah-Kofi Buah said this during an interaction with the media at Parliament House in Accra.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on December 7, 2019 turned on the valves for the use of natural gas from the ENI-OCTP fields to enable the 450 megawatts Karpowership to use lean gas instead of heavy oil fuel (HFO).

In his speech, the President gave a list of the benefits of gas and how the switch of the Karpowership to natural gas, would save electricity users an amount of US$170.5 million per year and a projected amount of US$1.2 billion over the remaining terms by way of reduced electricity charges to consumers.

Mr. Armah-Kofi Buah explained that former President Mahama during his time in office led a historic effort to bring the project on stream and it was part of a comprehensive effort to address Ghana’s energy challenges and address fuel security for the thermal plants.

He said after the successful completion of the Atuabo gas project, the next effort was the ENI’s OCTP project to utilise the associated and non-associated Sankofa gas.

He said the project represented game-changer in the country’s gas-to power ambitions with about 45,000 barrels oil per day (bopd) and 180 mmscf of gas, enough to generate 1,000MW of power daily.

Mr. Armah-Kofi Buah said before the NDC left office they initiated processes to interconnect the Ghana Natural Gas Transmission system with the West African Gas Pipeline system part of the broader long term vision to ensure a sustainable and reliable supply of gas.

“This is to allow a reverse flow of gas from the West (Takoradi) to the East to serve power plants in the Tema enclave.”

He said the initiative received cabinet approval before NDC left office, and that was so critical to ensuring that the ENI gas was not stranded.

The Government of the New Patriotic Party, Mr Buah, said failed to prioritise this project.

He said the NDC government commenced the process of relocating the 450MW Karpowership Badge to Takoradi to replace the 230MW ship in Tema to off-take part of the gas.

“Unfortunately, it took this administration three long years of inertia and procrastination resulting in the delay of the relocation of the Karpowership to the Sekondi Naval base.

“This is the reason why the ENI was stranded and resulted in a huge cost to the Ghanaian tax payer,” former Energy Minister said.

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