President Nana Akufo-Addo, as well as other power stakeholders have revealed that the newly commissioned Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessel (FPSO) named after former President John Agyekum Kufuor holds a lot of bright promises for the ailing Ghana economy.
The FPSO Kufuor was commissioned by President Nana Addo on Thursday, 6th July, 2017 in a ceremonial valve turning event to officially mark the beginning of commercial oil exploration from the Sankofa Gye-Nyame Fields.
FPSO John Agyekum Kufuor is a Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessel – a product of the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) integrated oil and gas project. It is Ghana’s third FPSO after that of Nkrumah and Atta Mills respectively, and was named after Kufuor since it was under his tenure that the development of the project started.
The project is being carried out jointly by ENi, an Italian energy company; Vitol, a global energy group from the Netherlands, and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC); each having a stake of 44.44%, 35.56%, and 20% respectively.
The OCTP integrated oil and gas development is made up of the Sankofa Main, Sankofa East and Gye-Nyame fields, located about 60 kilometers off the Western Region coast. According to the Energy Ministry, the fields have a cumulative recoverable reserves of about 1.07 TCF of gas, 173 million barrels of oil, 30 million barrels of condensate; and are expected to produce 45,000 BOPD of oil and 170MMSCFD through 18 wells, using the FPSO Kufuor.
How The Plant Will Benefit Ghana’s Economy
President Nana Addo has urged the OCTP partners to ensure prudent management of the Sankofa oil and gas project to achieve the expected results which include among others, the following key goals:
1. Low Gas Prices
It is expected that sankofa oil when added to the already existing production, will go a long way in bringing about reduction in the prices of gas in the country since higher supply causes prices to fall.
“With the addition of the production from the OCTP to those of the T.E.N and Jubilee fields, we are optimistic that our beloved nation will enhance significantly its gas supply for our domestic power generation,” Nana Addo said.
2. Cheaper Electricity
The issue of “killer” electricity tariffs has become a common parlance in the Ghanaian society, especially among businessmen and entrepreneurs. It is therefore expected that a higher supply and lower prices of gas for power generation will in turn bring about reduction in Electricity Tariffs.
3. More Steady Power Supply
The OCTP oil exploration using the FPSO Kufuor is expected to provide enough oil to feed the thermal power plants in the Western region with the capacity to bring on another 1,100 megawatts. With this, Ghanq will be very close to bringing a complete closure to the prevailing epileptic power suplly, popularly known as ‘dumsor’.
A dedicated gas pipeline has been put in place to connect to the onshore gas receiving facilities near Sanzule, a village in the Western region from where the generated power will be transmitted.
4. Reduction in Cost of Production
With the successful achievement of the first three goals, it is certain that there will be a general reduction in the cost of production which will in turn, refle t in the general market prices of goods and services, espcially the locally produced ones. This will go a long way in reviving paralized businesses, aswelk as lead to the offspring of new ones – a development that will positively affect the economy.
5. Employment Creation
The President reiterated the commitment of his government to pursuing initiatives to expand Ghanaian participation in all aspects of the oil and gas industry in order to alleviate the menace of unemployment. The President expressed gratitude over the involvement of young Ghanaians on the FPSO who have been trained to manage the hydrocarbon production and processing from the Field as technicians and supervisors.
He also revealed that the Petroleum Commission indicated that over 100 Ghanaians (representing nearly 60%) are involved in the operation and maintenance of the FPSO Kufuor. President Akufo-Addo, thus, urged ENI and its partners to continue to work with the Petroleum Commission to move Ghanaian participation to even greater heights.
“Ghanaians have the spirit of entrepreneurship, and it is vital that they are empowered to engineer business growth, and reduce the serious unemployment situation in the country,” he stressed.
Nana Addo also pointed out that the project will particularly benefit those engaged in farming and fishing as it presents a great opportunity to a new market, since the many people employed under it will need to be fed. He therefore urged the youth to go into farming under the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme, and other activities to take advantage of the opportunity.
In addition, the second phase of the Sankofa project will rely on the support services of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as part of the supply chain development, thereby creating opportunities for new and existing businesses in the country
6. GDP Growth
Indeed, more than US$1.8 billion worth of contracts have been awarded to indigenous Ghanaian companies under OCTP FPSO Kufuor project. It was also revealed that GNPC has positioned itself to go into the production of fertilisers, ethanol and other products once more, and inviting private investors to join hands too.
Moreover, the OCTP Project had achieved significant local content development and participation with the fabrication of module stools, risers, jumpers, among others, in Ghana. All these will go a long way in driving the growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), hence, improving the economy.
7. National Development
resident Akufo-Addo stressed that government through the Ministry of Energy, Petroleum Commission and GNPC, is working closely with other licensees and contractors to ensure that the country’s petroleum resources are exploited in a sustainable manner for the benefit of the people of Ghana.
“The need for creative thinking to leverage our oil and gas production for national development is a charge for us to keep – and we must not fail our people,” he added.
The Sankofa project, and other existing ones in the Western Region, the President was confident “will open up the region for infrastructural development and consequent economic growth. This is in line with the grand plan of making the Western Region a key growth pole for the country.”
The acting CEO of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Dr Kofi Koduah Sarpong also said, “GNPC’s new approach to corporate social investment will significantly improve the industries contribution to localization, skills and technology transfer and the whole well-being of Ghanaians”.
The new development, the Energy Ministry said, is anchored on three main pillars – education and training, environment and social amenity and economic empowerment.