The Helmet Feeds Stay updated with every news article on your favorite constrcution news site. Ghana: Dealing with congestion at the port expert calls for improved IT penetration gcnet logo

The Executive Chairman of the Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet), Dr. Nortey Omaboe, has urged the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA)

-- operator of the country’s two ports -- and other key stakeholders in the maritime industry to deepen the thrust of technology in all facets of the ports’

operations to improve the ease of doing business at the country’s ports.

Dr. Omaboe told the B&FT in an interview that the numerous interventions being rolled-out by the GPHA on a regular basis to ensure speedy cargo clearance

at the Tema and Takoradi Ports will be defeated by the absence of streamlined cargo clearance processes and procedures.

He noted that due to increase in trade activities at the two ports -- Tema Port and Takoradi Port -- there is urgent need for an extensive deployment of technology to do away with bureaucracies along the clearance chain to

facilitate seamless port operations.

“The recent growth in maritime trade in the country has seen automation of the clearance process, but there is more room for improvement.

“One area where technology can be leveraged to address the issue of delays in the cargo clearance process is coordination of the various agencies’ activities, because we haven’t fared well in that regard and I think there is no

time for further delay.

“We have a lot of organisations engaged in various forms of interventions at the ports; we have the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, the Ghana Standards Authority, the Foods and Drugs Authority and Customs among

others, and I believe we really need to look at things in a more comprehensive and integrated manner from point to point,” he noted.

“An integrated and well-coordinated system -- from which all agencies operating along the clearance chain will operate -- is the surest way of ensuring hassle-free, real-time and cheap clearance of goods at our ports.

“This is also one way of eliminating the human interface, which has over the years proven to be detrimental to the cargo clearance process.

“Industry players must therefore adopt IT-backed measures that will help them leverage the opportunities brought about by the surge in trade at the ports. It is always important to figure out and identify the right systems that will

work in the promotion of trade facilitation in the country.

“Automation is now bread and butter; you move into countries like Singapore and Malaysia which are highly advanced in terms of technological penetration in the clearance process and you know. The situation is not different, it’s

nothing to do with the human capital; it’s a question of embracing the technology,’’ he said.


Source: B&FT

]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 08:47:48 -0500 Ghana: More leverage for local players as GPHA reviews laws GPHA

The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) is reviewing the laws governing its operations to strengthen its control of maritime trade activities at the country's ports

and also increase the fortunes of local industry players.

Mr. Paul Ansah Asare, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, who disclosed this to the B&FT in an interview, said the review is in tandem with management’s quest

for improved efficiency and productivity and also give more leverage to Ghanaian business along the various services value chain.

“We are currently reviewing our laws to enable us deal with contemporary demands in the industry; Ghana’s ports have transitioned from a landlord/services port with

several private sector players. This bureaucratic chain can affect the port both positively and negatively hence the need for proper control and supervision.

“We also recognise that the port industry is very lucrative and for that matter local players in the various services value chain will get more leverage in the bid to position

the ports to support economic development.

“Ghanaian businesses will have a competitive urge in line with management’s resolve to implement enhanced local content in the sea trade sector; this is a prime focus

of the GPHA. We have done some level of consultation and proposals have been drafted for submission to appropriate government agencies,” he said.

The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) is close to handling a combined container capacity of one million Twenty-Equivalent Units (TEUs) by close of the year at the Tema and Takoradi ports, with best estimates

showing the figure could double by 2028.

The bright prospects are due to the consistent surge in container traffic to the two ports over the last four years and ongoing expansion projects which are expected to create space for more vessels to call. Expansion activities at

the ports include dredging of new drafts from the current 12 metres to 16 metres to accommodate large vessels.

According to figures from GPHA, the two seaports handled container capacity worth a total of 894,362 TEUs in 2013 – the Tema port handled 841,989 TEUs while the Takoradi port handled 52,373 TEUs.

By the end of the first quarter of this year, the two ports had handled 214,333 TEUs, which was a 2.7 percent decline over the 2013 figure of 220,436 TEUs within the same period statistics from the Ministry of Transport showed.

Mr. Asare said the review of the existing law will give GPHA more power to regulate business activities at the country's two ports--Tema Port and Takoradi Port--to minimise the cost of doing business, deepen socio-economic

improvement and raise the trust and confidence of both transit and transshipment operators doing business through the country's ports.

Source: B&FT

]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 08:35:31 -0500 Ghana: ACEP calls for subsidise on LPG gas LPG

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) is asking government to subsidize Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to sustain the free rural LPG cylinders distribution project.

The programme aimed at halting the burning of charcoal has not yielded the desired results.
Reports indicate that beneficiaries of the project are selling the cylinders because they cannot afford to buy gas to refill them.

A Deputy Minister for Energy and Petroleum, John Jinapor had earlier warned that persons caught selling the cylinders will face the full rigors of the law.

Director of Research and Programmes at Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) John Peter Amewu explained that government should rather make available gas to the underprivileged at a reduced cost to halt the sale of the cylinders.

“Giving out cylinders without any means of affording the gas, its becomes a difficult issue because they need cash to buy the gas and as long as they are not able to in a competitive position to purchase the gas the cylinder distribution is meaningless and that is why we are seeing them sell these cylinders.”

Mr. Amewu said the country must get a good data base and subsidize what actually the consumers need by designating particular gas filling stations to fill the cylinders.

He indicated that the gas cylinders should have special symbols put on them, so they become identifiable by the gas filling stations.

“The gas is what they need so if you provide the gas a little bit cheaper then the cylinder will be put into good use,” he said.


Source: B&FT

]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 08:21:47 -0500 Ghana: TOR feels disarmed TOR

The arrangement by government for the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to supply the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) with petroleum products has ruffled feathers at the Tema Oil Refinery, with workers calling for a reversal of the decision.

Workers at the refinery feel the arrangement goes to confirm sentiments that those who benefit from the status quo -- the crippled state of TOR --are leaving no stone unturned to ensure a deepening of the refinery’s woes.

They do not understand why the GNPC -- an entity that is supposed to focus on finding oil for Ghana -- has all of a sudden become a downstream player, supplying products to BOST.

“It beats our understanding as to what is informing GNPC’s involvement in downstream activities,” Daniel Fugah, Chairman of TOR’s Senior Staff Association told the B&FT.

“The question the workers are asking is: what stops government from supporting TOR to keep the facility in shape? It is good for government to say it is going to restructure TOR, but in the in the interim should we leave the facility there to get rotten?”

He added that: “The guys against Tema Oil Refinery condemn it and make it look like it is bad and not worth supporting. But I would like to assure the people of this country that TOR is a viable organisation. It just needs a little support, a little push, and it will deliver.”

TOR has been struggling to raise Letters of Credit from the banking sector to import crude and refine; the banks have been holding back due to challenges they face in recouping forex exchange losses that arise out of the LCs.

In the milieu, plants at the refinery are not running, and it has been reduced to holding stocks of products for third parties -- private bulk distribution companies that do not have their own storage facilities.

In 2010, a consultant hired by government suggested that the refinery be given some US$67million to help it retool. In 2012, government released US$30million as part-payment. The remainder is yet to be released, if it ever will.

Government has meanwhile been talking about restructuring TOR to bring it up to the level of a “world-class refinery”.

Cabinet, in 2013, set up a two-tier structure to develop and operationalise a public private partnership arrangement through a joint venture deal between TOR and PetroSaudi.

The joint venture company, named TOR-PS, was incorporated in September 2014.

“Business Plan discussions have been earnestly going on and a commercial framework for the restructuring is being finalised,” said Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Energy and Petroleum Minister at a Meet the Press recently.

“Discussions have been held on the shareholders agreement, as well as government support and consent agreement and other related off-takers agreements.

“The management of TOR is equally aggressively negotiating with international and local financial institutions for funding to execute their annual mandatory maintenance and also to fund the supply of feedstock/crude, pending completion of negotiations on various agreements.”

Reacting to questions regarding rumours that government plans to sell the refinery, the minister said: “Tema Oil Refinery is not for sale; not under my watch, not under the watch of his Excellency the President. Our focus is to make sure that Tema Oil Refinery is expanded and operating efficiently, and has the working capital to get the crude to constantly refine products efficiently without losses”.


Source: B&FT

]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 08:17:52 -0500 Ghana: PURC to cut power tariffs for industries purc logo

Parliament has made the case -- and it has been accepted "in principle" by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) -- that the industrial sector must pay less

for electricity than the domestic sector.

"We have intimated to the PURC for Ghana to follow international best practices when it comes to tariff setting. Globally, industries pay less for power than households.

But unfortunately in Ghana we have turned logic on its head, whereby industries pay more than households," Dr. Kwabena Donkor, Chairman of the Parliamentary

Select Committee on Mines and Energy, told managers of steel companies in Tema on Tuesday.

Dr. Donkor, who led a team of parliamentarians on a visit to a number of industries in Tema, added: "We have made a presentation to the PURC and it has accepted it

in principle. What it has to do now is come up with an implementation plan. You will find that in all future tariff adjustments we will begin to make some progress in terms

of charging industries the real cost of sending power to them.

“It is cheaper to send power to industries than to households, because the volume of power you can drop in a single industry and the cost of doing that is far cheaper

than dropping the same volume of power in communities."

The PURC earlier this month announced a 6.54 percent increase in electricity tariff amidst power rationing, making it the third time this year that the Commission has increased power tariffs -- accumulating a 28.27% rise in

electricity tariffs since the beginning of the year.

Aside from the erratic nature of supply, the cost of power has been a major source of worry for industries -- gobbling up as much as 55% of non-raw material costs for a company like Sentuo Steel Limited, which was set up two

years ago and currently produces about 120,000 tonnes of iron rods per annum, which represents 40% of its capacity.

Its Board Chairman George Andoh told the parliamentarians that competitively-priced power is essential if the country is to be industrialised.

"In our quest to find energy for Ghana, let us not also forget that the energy has to be competitive. I think quite a lot of the thermal energy we are generating now is not competitive," he said.

At Tema Steel Company Limited, a director -- M.J. Patel -- told the parliamentarians that high cost of electricity is a major problem for the company.

While power tariffs hover around four to five cents per kilowatt hour in Europe and America, he said they have to grapple with as much as 12 cents and above.

At Aluworks, the MD, Kwesi Okoh said from GH₵245,100 per month in 2013, the cost of power for the company has gone up to GH₵500,000 per month in 2014, making it difficult for them to roll-out their investment plans.

The cost of power, he said, has been growing exponentially due to the automatic tariff adjustment mechanism, while efficiency levels have not seen an equal improvement.

"Elsewhere in the world industries pay less for electricity so they can provide jobs and pay salaries. When people take their salaries then they pay higher for electricity. Which would you prefer? That industries pay less and provide

jobs, or they pay more and are not able to provide jobs?" Kwesi Akoh said

Data from the Energy Commission shows that while power consumption in the industrial sector saw no increase between 2000 and 2011, consumption in the residential and non-residential class increased 100 percent during the


Source: B&FT

]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 08:14:19 -0500 Ghana: 450 megawatts of power to be added to national grid ELECTRICITY GRID LINES

Karadeniz Energy Group, the energy wing of the Turkey-based Karadeniz Holding, is spearheading the construction of two electricity-generating vessels to produce

power to Ghana which is expected to be equivalent to more than

one-fifth of the country's electricity needs.

The project, when it becomes operational will contribute up to 450 megawatts of power to Ghana's national electricity grid.

“Karpowership Ghana Company will be supporting the Electricity Company of Ghana and the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, while providing a Turnkey solution to

deliver fast-track electricity to meet the country's high energy

demand,” Patrick O'Driscoll, the Company’’s director said.

Karpowership Ghana Company Limited, a subsidiary of Karadeniz Energy Group, the energy wing of the Turkey-based Karadeniz Holding, signed a ten-year power

purchase agreement in June with the state-run Electricity

Company of Ghana (ECG).

The company will build two floating power stations at a total estimated cost of US$1.2 billion.

“The cost of a ship is valued at US$600 million, but this has been pre-financed by Karpower because it is an independent power producer,” Ebenezer Baiden, a member of the tariff team at ECG, said.

“Ghana will only have to pay them every month when they start generating power from May 1, 2015,” he stated.

ECG, which does not generate power and depends on various state-owned and private power producers, has made a US$50-million commitment to the deal.

“It is collateral to say that when they sail from Turkey to Ghana, we will not relent on the deal,” Baiden explained. "We produced the bank guarantee to Karpower to prove our commitment.”

The deal is believed to be the largest Turkish investment project in Ghana.

Karadeniz is the developer, owner and operator of a fleet of power ships with an overall capacity of more than 1,100 megawatts.

It currently has three ships in Iraq, two in Lebanon, one in Pakistan and one in Dubai.

The company reportedly supplies 10 percent and 20 percent of Iraq's and Lebanon's respective electricity needs.

The power ships will dock at Tema and Takoradi – Ghana's two port cities – near suitable grid interconnection points.

They will contribute up to 450 megawatts of power to Ghana's national electricity grid.

"It is projected that with the two power ships, Karpowership Ghana will eventually supply 21 percent of the country's [power] generation [based on 2013 figures]," O'Driscoll asserted.

Karpowership Ghana said the deal would be an economical solution to Ghana's existing electricity supply – which relies on expensive crude oil – while providing employment and attracting badly needed foreign direct investment.

“With the use of low-cost fuel, the power ships will deliver a total cost of electricity into the grid that will enable a competitively priced tariff to deliver savings for the government,” said O'Driscoll.

He added that the power ships would initially use economic – and abundant – Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to generate electricity, but would transition to natural gas during the project's second phase.

Baiden, the Ghanaian official, said the power ships would run on HFO for the first five years, switching to natural gas in the sixth year.

While the ships are running on HFO, Ghana will pay $0.19 for each unit per kilowatt. When they start running on natural gas, the cost will fall to $0.15.

Edward Bawa, an Energy Ministry spokesman, said the power ships will help improve the country’s energy situation.

“There is an issue where the load demand is almost the same as the amount of power available, so the reserve margin is non-existent,” said.

“Technically, we are supposed to have about 20 percent of our installed capacity being our reserved margin,” Bawa said.

“If we are able to have this facility, anytime we have a challenge with any of our plants, we can rely on it, “he added. "So this will come in to plug that gap of deficit that we have.”


Source: B&FT

]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 08:04:44 -0500 Ghanaian Workers subject to abuse By Foreign Employers workers right

The contributions made by foreign employers toward the socio- conomic growth and development of Ghana are worthy of applause.

Undeniably,the living conditions of many a Ghanaian have improved as a result of they securing employment from foreigners.

However, the fly in the ointment

is the situation where the locals are increasingly subjected to abuses and human rights violations.

Though less known, a great host of

Ghanaian employees are verbally, psychologically or even physically

abused by their foreign employers on a daily basis. As Ghana joined

other countries to commemorate World Precarious Workers Day on October 7, which is observed annually to highlight the plight of workers, a new

study conducted by the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of Ghana (ICU) revealed that foreign employers almost always abused their

Ghanaian employees.

The study cited Chinese, Indians and Lebanese as the worst abusers of workers rights. According to the General Secretary of the ICU,Solomon

Kotei, the foreign employers violate Section 75 of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651), the

International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 100, which demands equal renumeration for equal work, as well as ILO Convention 111, which

abhors discrimination in employment and occupation. Reported cases of locals being abused and mistreated by their foreign superiors abound, be it in the formal or informal sectors of the economy.

A case in point is a study by the Labour Research and Policy Institute of the Trades Union Congress, which reported of widespread abuse of the rights of Ghanaian Workers during the construction of the Tamale and Essipong


The study further captured the situation where Chinese were highly abusive towards their Ghanaian construction workers at the Bui Dam site. In the mining sites which are usually managed by foreigners, the violation of the rights of their Ghanaian counterparts is common place.

It was reported that over three thousand (3000) employees of Goldfields Ghana Limited, Tarkwa and Damang Mines both threatened to go on strike due to racial discrimination, cheating and disregard to their welfare.

They said the Ghanaian workers where housed in dilapidated houses while the foreigners where housed in well established mansions. They also said the mines gym, club and

restaurant were restricted to only the foreigners. The worrying aspect of these violations of Ghanaian workers rights is that, most of these cases, particularly the ones that happen on a small scale are not usually brought to the

public attention.

The question that arises is,why do these foreigners abuse their Ghanaian subordinates?

In fact, one major cause of this problem stems from the high unemployment rate in the country.

Due to this menace, the foreigners take advantage of the situation to do anything to their employees without any sense of civility. The Ghanaian workers in this traumatic situation will rather stay in an abusive working environment

than to stand up for their rights and subsequently get sacked.

Interestingly, in this situation, the abused Ghanaian employee will rather want to be a ''well fed

slave than to be a hungry free man''. Secondly, many foreigners face a lot of pressure as a result of the economic climate and so, in an attempt to off load this pressure, the poor Ghanaian employees are unfortunately the victims.

This mostly happens in the form of verbal abuse where hostile and unethical communication is directed towards these Ghanaian workers. Moreover, the culture of fear among Ghanaian workers has given these foreigners the

impudence to continue these unwarranted behaviours in that, the Ghanaian worker, out of fear of being suspended, heavily sanctioned or even fired do not report these cases of abuse.

Some Ghanaians and foreigners alike are ignorant of the labour Acts and so do not know their rights and responsibilities. Also, some of these foreigners naturally do not respect the rights of other people and so as long as you are

their subordinates you are doomed to abuse. There are various forms of rights violations including but not limited to unpaid salaries or wages, sexual harassment, excessive working hours without corresponding payments and the

continuous keeping employees as casual workers.

The latter is the situation where foreign employers with the intention of depriving

their Ghanaian employees of certain benefits such as medical facility, pension scheme, sick leave, among others usually hire staff on a temporary basis.

Though these casual or temporary employees are being made to perform the same tasks as the so-called permanent colleagues who earn higher income. This is pure injustice and it must immediately
be halted.

To address this, the Government through the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations must ensure that the laws and regulations of the land are respected and adhere to and those found guilty of non-compliance must be

sanctioned accordingly.

Organisational leadership plays the most important part in the prevention of these abuses by enforcing decency, civility and high ethical standards. The Trades Union Congress and the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union must ensure that the provisions in the National Labour Act are enforced particularly the one which stipulates that casual workers are regularised as permanent workers after continuous six months of engagement.

Workers unions should also educated their members on their rights and responsibilities. Media practitioners has a role to play in highlighting more on abuses
through advocacy and education.

Foreign employers should not only think about the economic aspect of their business but they should also look at the human rights aspect of it so that they can get the best out of their Ghanaian employees.


Source: gbcghana

]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 07:51:52 -0500 Ghana: NGOs challenge Opuni-Frimpong on Newmont claim Dr. Opuni Frimpong

A group of NGOs have challenged claim by Rev Dr Kwabena Opuni Frimpong, General Secretary of Christian Council, that the Ahafo Mine of the Newmont Ghana Gold

Limited is a responsible mining company in the country.

Rev Dr Opuni Frimpong reportedly commended the mining giant for their work recently when a delegation of inter-faith based group made up of representatives of the

Catholic Church and other denominations around the world

visited the Newmont Ahafo Mine recently.

Another member of the group, Dr Anna Falkenberg, who is the Executive Director of the Socially Responsible Investment Coalition (SRIC), was also reported to have

commended the company for high standards attained for its

cyanide and tailings management.

However, the group is adamant that the Christian Council could use a few hours to make definite conclusions about the mining company.

The statement was jointly endorsed by Augustine Niber for Centre for Public Interest Law (CEPIL), Hannah Owusu-Koranteng (Mrs) for Wacam, Samuel Obiri for Centre for Environmental Impact Assessment (CEIA), James

Kwabena Bomfeh (Jnr) for Youth for Action Ghana as well as Richard Ellimah for Centre for Social Impact Service (CeSIS).

According to the NGOs, “There is a litany of social, environmental and economic problems associated with the operations of Newmont Ahafo mine which we are prepared to share with the Christian Council of Ghana to support

the fact that  they cannot pass the test of a responsible mine.”

“There are many people in Ahafo area who have been physically and economically displaced by the mine and paid compensation that cannot restore their livelihoods. These poor farmers who have lost their indigenous lands and

have their rivers polluted are seeking a strong voice of the Christian Council of Ghana to speak for them.”

They statement said, “In our opinion, the statements by Rev Opuni Frimpong and some members of the faith-based group which glorifies the operations of the Newmont Ahafo Mine after a short guided tour of the mine.”

“It does not reflect the reality of the degree of environmental degradation, the economic and physical displacement of community people with its related poverty, the payment of paltry compensation to farmers, the pollution of

rivers, the creation of rockwaste, human rights abuses, disposal of faecal matter into the rivers among others which have been associated with the company’s operations,” they claimed.

The statement added, “We respectfully request the Christian Council of Ghana to have an independent assessment of the social, environmental, economic effects and the human rights violations associated with the operations of

the mine from all stakeholders especially the mining communities and NGOs.”

They statement recalled that “when Newmont Ahafo Mine spilled cyanide into community rivers in October 2009, the company made frantic efforts to cover up the spillage which is a serious environmental crime that attracted a

punitive fine of about $5 million imposed on the company by the government of Ghana.”

They said when the fine was finally paid, the DCE for the area decided to build a market when the communities were requesting for a hospital and that had since become a contentious issue which landed in court.

The statement said some communities in Kenyase have also taken legal action against Newmont Ahafo Mine on allegations of diverting its sewage into community rivers which serve as their drinking water with serious health

implications on the people.


Source: spyghana

]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 07:44:59 -0500 Ghana: ISSER proposes solutions to the challenging economy ISSER Logo

Professor Felix Asante, Director of the Institute for Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of University of Ghana, has proposed several solutions to Ghana's ailing

economy for 2015 and beyond.

Prof. Asante stated that the government needs to invest massively in infrastructure and prioritise non-traditional exports, including banana, mango, pineapple and vegetables.

“This is to solve the country's weak infrastructural systems, especially in the energy and transportation sectors”.

“Moreover, the government must pursue an employment-centered economic growth strategy that will ensure that employment expands along with production. The benefits of

growth will be widely shared through better job opportunities and enhanced incomes to ensure sustainability in the exploitation of the country's natural resources endowments,

including agriculture, minerals as well as oil and gas supported by strategic investment, application of science, technology and innovation to enhance the creation of employment

and income earning opportunities”.

Prof. Asante added that priority should be accorded physical infrastructure and human-quality development, rather than the continuing expansion of public institutions, in order to

substantially increase absorption of the apparent over-supply of graduates from the various tertiary institutions. He was speaking at the launch of the 'State of The Ghanaian Economy Report, 2013' in Accra.

He said there was the urgent need for prudent management of government resources; while increased efforts to mobilise revenue through an expanded tax base should be pursued; “the main culprit for recent huge deficits is

expenditure by government, which should be reined in the short-to-medium term”.

The scholar stressed that structural limitations in infrastructure, labour markets and declining commodity prices contributed greatly to the slow-down in the growth of the country. But he was optimistic that the near-term outlook for

Ghana is positive, with growth projected at 8% provided the government adheres to the way forward.

He also suggested that the country could ensure massive economic growth well into the future, provided the country improves its macro-economic management which requires bold efforts to reduce its budget imbalance.

Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah, Provost, College of Humanities, University of Ghana, who chaired the event, indicated that the report presented the general overview of the state of the local economy in 2013. It centered on

various sector of the economy- including industry, service, infrastructure and agriculture.

He was full of optimism that the report would spark debate among stakeholders to ensure that a more buoyant economy was built.

Dr. Robert Osei Darko, a Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Economics Division of ISSER, noted that there was a road-show in the Ashanti Region to educate the public on the state of the economy. He said the road-show

for the upcoming year is likely to be staged in the Northern Region.


Source: ghanaweb

]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 07:36:40 -0500 Ghana: ECG disconnects power supply to Asunafo South District Assembly ECG logo

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has disconnected the electricity supply to the Asunafo South District Assembly in the Brong Ahafo Region for non-payment of bills.

The assembly owes the ECG four thousand six hundred cedis for a period of nine months.

ECG disconnected the power on Wednesday and the Assembly is now relying on a small stand by generator set for its operations.

The District Health Directorate which also operates in the facility has been forced relocate to the Kukuom Health Centre because the generator set is not big enough to

support the computers, air conditioners and other machines in the offices.

The District Chief Executive of the area, Hon. Abraham Atta Bosompem who confirmed this to said the ECG is demanding one thousand cedis or two

thirds of their debt to restore power to the assembly

“This is not new, even KMA owes light bills, we would pay it,” Atta Bosempem said.

This is not the first time the ECG has disconnected electricity supply. Electricity supply to the new premises of the Judgement Debt Commission was disconnected over a

GH? 90,000 unpaid bill.

Due to the disconnection, the Commission’s sitting was delayed for almost two hours, to enable them fix the Commission’s standby generator.

The failure on the part of some electricity consumers to pay their bills in 2013, for instance, cost the ECG about 12.40 per cent of its annual revenue.


Source: ghanaweb

]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 07:23:19 -0500 Ghana: Cenpower raises 900m US dollars for 350MW Kpone plant Kpone IPP Site

Cenpower Generation Company Limited (Cenpower) has announced the financial close of the required US$ 900million for its 350megawatt Kpone power plant.

When it comes onstream in 2017, the KIPP project -- a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (‘CCGT’) plant -- will be the largest private IPP in the country.

KIPP will be become a critical base-load component in meeting Ghana’s growing electricity demand.

The project finance comprises two components: a US$650million debt tranche and a US$250million equity tranche. The debt is being funded under export credit

cover by a consortium of South African commercial banks and international Development Finance Institutions (DFIs).

Rand Merchant Bank (‘RMB’) acted as the Global Lead Bank and Mandated Lead Arranger for the commercial banking tranche. Other South African banks involved

in the transaction as Mandated Lead Arrangers were Nedbank and Standard Bank. Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelings Landen N.V.

(FMO), the Dutch Development Bank, acted as the Mandated Arranger for the DFI tranche.

Via the equity-raising, three leading investment groups will be joining the equity consortium, while InfraCo, the principal project co-developer since inception, will be


The new investors are Sumitomo Corporation of Japan, African Infrastructure Investment Fund II and its co-investors (via an investment vehicle called Mercury Power), andFMO.

Post-financial close, the equity holders in Cenpower are now AFC Equity Investments Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) (31.85%), Cenpower Holdings Limited (21%), a consortium of

Ghanaian investors, (21%), Sumitomo Corporation (28%), Mercury Power (15%) and FMO (4.15%).

Oliver Andrews, AFC’s Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer and Cenpower Project Director, commented: “This is a shining example of what can be achieved when Africa’s public and private sectors combine in

innovative and sustainable partnership to create the bankable energy infrastructure projects so critical to the continent’s economic growth. Moreover, the fact that a near-US$1billion transaction has been largely financed by

African institutions reflects the growing capacity of indigenous lenders and equity investors to begin addressing Africa’s ongoing infrastructure deficit”.

Wada Tomoyuki, Senior Project Manager, Sumitomo Corporation, observed: “Sub-Saharan Africa is growing in strategic importance for us. In backing the Cenpower project, we look forward not only to providing our

technological know-how and experience, but also contributing to Ghana’s development”.

Ebbe Hamilton, Partner at eleQtra, said: “In exiting this groundbreaking project, Infraco and eleQtra are delighted to be able to facilitate the entry of such blue-chip investors as Sumitomo, AIIM and FMO. We are very proud to have been a key member of the development team of this truly African project.”

“FMO is delighted to become an equity stakeholder in Cenpower,” added Janos Bonta, the Dutch Development Bank’s Senior Investment Officer. “The KIPP project will provide Ghana with reliable and affordable power going

forward, thereby improving the levels of electrification across the country, and as such is very much in line with our strategic mission.”

Samuel Brew-Butler, Chairman of Cenpower, concluded: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire Project Development Team at eleQtra/InfraCo and AFC for their invaluable contribution in bringing Kpone to

financial close. Recognising the crucial role that Cenpower will play in meeting Ghana’s future electricity needs, we and all our financial stakeholders are now galvanised to bring Kpone into production on time and on budget”.



Source: B&FT

]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 17:02:04 -0500 Ghana: Spat over extra wells at Jubilee OIL

Tullow Oil, operator of the Jubilee Field, has proposed drilling four additional infill wells -- one for production and three for water injection, in order to boost oil production.

An infill well is drilled between producing wells for the purpose of more efficient recovery of petroleum from a reservoir.

The B&FT understands that the Petroleum Commission has however kicked against the move, insisting that the Jubilee partners make good their commitment to do

a full development plan for the Jubilee Field.

A full development plan would give a clearer idea of what the field contains, and what the most cost-effective way of developing it would be.

The condition on which government approved the Plan of Development (POD) for phase one -- which covers only a portion of the field -- was that Tullow and co

would do a full development plan subsequently.

The B&FT understands that the oil companies fear a drop in production by 2016 that could significantly negate their stock prices, which have already been affected

by their inability to hit the 120,000bpd optimal production level.

Production currently averages a hundred thousand barrels of oil per day.

The Partners are said to be pushing the idea at the Finance Ministry that the country risks losing substantial revenues if they are not allowed to drill the new wells.

Dr. Kwabena Donkor, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy, however argues that the country will not necessarily lose revenue since the five-year capital allowance period given the Jubilee

Partners runs out by the end of 2015.

When that happens the country stands to gain more revenue, since the companies’ taxable profit will increase, he said.

At any rate, he said, a simulation needs to be done on how much revenue the country stands to lose in case production drops, as against how much money it will gain when the capital allowance period expires.

If the new investment the partners are seeking to make in additional wells is approved, the capital allowance period is likely to be extended since they would have to recoup that investment as well.

Dr. Kwabena Donkor said the move by the Jubilee Partners will not optimise exploitation of the resource, and that the long-term interest of the nation should take precedence over any other consideration.

He called on the Petroleum Commission not to compromise its mandate of ensuring optimal exploitation of petroleum resources.

“Our major interest is the optimal management of the resource and therefore the reservoir, so that Ghana’s long-term interest is better protected. It is better to have a plateau of revenue in extraction than have spikes,” he said.

Section 3(A) of the Petroleum Commission Act (821) states that the commission shall “promote planned, well-executed and cost-efficient petroleum activities to achieve optimal levels of resource exploitation for the overall

benefit and welfare of citizens”.

Currently, the Jubilee Field has twelve production wells, eight water injection wells, and three gas injection wells.


Source: B&FT

]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 16:55:57 -0500 Ghana: Asanko mine targets 200000 ounces gold GOLD

Asanko Gold Mine, a new mining company, is to begin operations next year with an initial production target of 200,000 ounces of gold.

This is expected to increase to about 500,000 ounces annually, by the year 2021.

Mr Jonathan Ebo Collins, the General Manger, said the company has projected to invest about US$325 million during the first three years of operation.

He made these known, when the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Nii Osah-Mills, accompanied by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Sarpong,

inspected the mine at Manso-Nkran in the Amansie West District.

It would be mining the gold ore at Manso-Nkran, Abore, Adubiaso and Asuadai.

The company was borne out of the merger of Adansi Gold and Keegan Resources and presently employs a total of 696 workers including 23 expatriates.

Mr Collins told the Minister that the health, safety and security of the employees and the environment were a key priority.

He also underlined their determination to build and maintain strong working relationships with all stakeholders, saying “our goal is to mine gold in a responsible

manner that leads to sustainable development and tangible benefits for all stakeholders”.

They would support community development, something he said, was critical to the long-term success of their operation.

Nii Osah-Mills hailed the company for the decision and said it was refreshing that at a time when the industry was becoming less attractive with hiring shrinking, Asanko was stepping in to give jobs and support the livelihood of

thousands of people.

The company has already cleared 180,000 square metres of land, built an air strip, settlement for 88 households at Manso-Nkran and installing its processing plants in readiness for smooth take-off.

The Minister said Asanko has made a strong statement of hope for the industry when others are downsizing.


Source: B&FT

]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 16:42:34 -0500 Mining: Bawku West District puts in place measures to check illegal miners. illegal minersAs part of efforts to save the environment, the Bawku West District Assembly has put in place stringent measures to crackdown on illegal miners.

The miners have destroyed about ten communities, rendering most of the people helpless, as well as denying them access to their farms due to the degradation by

the miners.

Among the communities affected are Widnaba, Sapeliga and Zongoiri.

Activities of the illegal miners have become a threat to the inhabitants and their animals in these communities.

This came up at the first ordinary meeting of the 20thsession of the Bawku West District Assembly held at Zebilla.

Mr Simon Ayande Agbango, District Chief Executive of the area affirmed the assembly’s commitment to fighting illegal mining to a logical conclusion and save the


He noted that the assembly had embarked on many development projects, including water and sanitation projects, adding that, the collection of internally generated revenue is now regular.

Mr Abgango said the assembly has constructed a number of educational infrastructure in some communities, which include a 2-unit classroom block at Birungu, 3-unit classroom block with ancillary facility at Salpiiga, 3-unit

classroom block at Azanga and a 3-unit classroom block at Kusanaba.

He mentioned that the assembly has collaborated with some development partners including the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation project to assist in improving on the water and sanitation situation in the area by

providing 30 boreholes for portable drinking water.

The DCE said the assembly has made some efforts to improve on its internally generated funds through investments, which would widen the revenue base and reduce it’s over dependence on the District Assembly Common

Fund (DACF).

He said the assembly has procured a grader, tipper truck, tractor,and built a guest house to achieve the objective.

The DCE said the assembly in the year under review took steps to improve on the lives of people living with disabilities by constructing a rehabilitation center for them.

He called on the assembly members to support his administration to achieve the intended plans and policies to bring development to the area.

The Presiding Member of the Assembly, Mr Moses Aduk-Pam called on the Metropolitan Municipal and Districts Assemblies (MMDA’s) to update and gazette their environmental bye-laws to conform to the current issues such

as cholera and Ebola in Ghana and the West African sub region.

He urged the people to develop a new way of disposing their corpses, since handling dead bodies with bare hands could be very contagious.


Source: ghanaweb

]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 16:34:08 -0500 Ghana: Free supply of electricity to VALCO questioned kwesi pratt

The Managing News Editor of the Insight Newspaper Kwesi Pratt has questioned the grounds for the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) to be provided with free

electricity when the company is not living up to expectation.

In the wake of the recent increase in electricity tariffs, he said it was totally unacceptable for VALCO to be supplied with free electricity while ordinary consumers are

being made to pay outrageous high prices for the little

electricity they utilise.

VALCO consumes about 40 percent of the nation’s electricity supply.

But speaking on Radio Gold’s ‘Alhaji Alhaji’ programme, Mr Pratt said he is highly disappointed in the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) for allowing the

free supply of electricity to VALCO when the company has

nothing to show for it.

“I do not understand why the PURC will increase electricity tariffs while VALCO is given electricity for free, I am highly disappointed in the PURC,” he said.

The PURC has reviewed upwards electricity tariffs by 6.54 percent, while that of water has been increased by 4.54 percent.

The Ghana Water Company will however not be able to charge the new rates until certain challenges have been resolved.

The PURC indicated that the price increases were necessitated by challenges of erratic supply of gas form Nigeria.

It also indicated that the tariff increase was to help manage the impact of the current situation of high dependence on crude oil in the generation mix for electricity supply in the country.

But Mr Pratt requested that VALCO be shut down because it contributes nothing to the economy.

He said the Automatic Adjustment Formula adopted by the country to determine utility prices should also be scrapped.

“It simply does not make sense that as Ghanaians we have decided to adopt Automatic Adjustment Formula where every three months utility prices are increased. No country does this”.

He blamed public officials for not living up to the tasks of solving the country’s problems for which they were put in public offices.

He said governments over the years have failed to protect the ordinary Ghanaian and urged government to “sit up, stop giving excuses and do the work they were voted in office to do”.

Mr. Pratt intimated that people are gradually losing confidence in the gorvernment. Government, he says, must ensure that the inefficiencies within the public sector are dealt with, to instill some confidence in them by the

Ghanaian populace.



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