The Helmet Feeds Stay updated with every news article on your favorite constrcution news site. Ghana Gas warns saboteurs to stop lies Prof Kwesi Botchwey

Ghana National Gas Company is alleging that some people and organisations are trying to sabotage the operations of the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant, which recently received first gas flow as part of its gradual commissioning process.

“The commencement of full operations at the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant will be a major and important milestone for our country, but we note that it remains the strong objective of some persons and institutions to work towards derailing that process,” GNGC said in a statement signed by Board Chairman Dr Kwesi Botchwey.

GNGC said in the statement that: “We urge everybody to avoid peddling untruths that could undermine the efforts that have gone into the completion of this all-important project, over the past two and half years.”

It added: “The gas plant will position the nation to garner significant savings over its crude oil and gas imports for power generation.

"As the days go by, we will provide Ghanaians with regular updates on the integrated commissioning phase, up until when we are finally ready to provide regular supplies of lean gas to the VRA Aboadze Complex.”

In the interim, GNGC said the tie-in between the Gas Processing Plant at Atuabo and the Jubilee Partners’ FPSO has been successfully completed.

First gas was received at the Plant on Monday November 10, 2014.

The successful completion of the tie-in will allow Ghana Gas to now complete the full integrated commissioning of the entire infrastructure from the offshore connecting valve at the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah through the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant to the Esiama Gas Distribution Station and then to the connecting valve at the VRA Aboadze Complex.

The integrated commissioning will be carried out in phases over a number of weeks, during which period, GNGC said, “all operating and monitoring systems will be fully tested and taken through their requisite paces.”

“As the commissioning progresses steadily, incremental quantities of raw gas would be necessarily injected into the processing facilities that would culminate in the test production of specification quality lean gas and other natural gas liquids in volumes that would be usable.”

“With the requisite clearances, Ghana Gas will then obtain a preliminary permit from the regulatory agencies to allow the transfer of such produced gas and liquids to VRA and other customers rather than flare it,” it added.

The company also said it remains committed to its mandate and is “not leaving anything to chance.”

“We are fully prepared for any challenges that may surface. No one is more mindful of the importance of safety and security of this infrastructure than the Board and Management of Ghana Gas.”

The statement said: “The facility has been constructed under an Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) contract by one of the largest companies in the industry that is heavily involved in the full spectrum of the gas processing value chain from design to construction to operation. Ghana Gas staff and engineers in the field are also well trained, competent and capable of managing the processes leading to commissioning and the management of operations at the plant.”

Source: B&FT online

]]> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 10:18:10 -0600 Ghana: Kumasi airport to open for night operations next month Kumasi airport

Domestic carriers will from December be able to operate flights from Accra to the Ashanti regional capital Kumasi, as renovation of the runway and installation of

airfield ground lighting system is near completion.

The airport is currently only open to traffic for 12 hours daily, from 6am to 6pm local time, due to the absence of a ground lighting system.

It is also closed early to allow for contractors working on the total resurfacing of the 1,981-metre runway and installation of the airport ground lighting system in the


It will be recalled that domestic airlines complained bitterly about the delay in opening the airport a few weeks ago, as a result of heavy rains that caused damage to a

section of on-going civil works on the runway.

A visit by the B&FT to the airport last week indicated that the first course of the three-layer runway has been completed. The second course, known as the binding

course, was almost completed -- with just 75 metres to cover.

The third layer, the wearing course, is expected to be completed after the installation of all airport ground lighting systems.

ADB Airfield Solutions (ADB), a Belgium-based market-leading airfield technology company, is undertaking Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL)-funded installation of all airfield ground lighting system.

PW Ghana is undertaking total resurfacing works at the second-busiest airport in the country.

The precision approach path indicator at both ends of the runway, installation of threshold lights,stop way, edge and end lights, installation of 32 approach lights, and wind-cones are all expected to be completed by November

31, 2014.

B&FT observed first-hand that all major civil works have been completed pending the mounting of the complete airfield ground lighting system.

About 27 kilometres of PVC pipes have been laid to carry the cables that will power all the lights.

One laudable observation about this project is the fact that all lighting system needs have been acquired and are stocked in large containers on-site. All other items needed to ensure completion of the project by November 30,

2014 are also on-site.

Source: B&FT Online

]]> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 10:12:51 -0600 Ghana: Crude oil imports up as gas supply remains erractic crude oil

Crude oil purchases by the Volta River Authority (VRA) for thermal power generation have increased significantly, on the back of erratic gas supply from Nigeria.

Crude oil imports, according to the VRA, rose from 4.87 million barrels in 2012 to 5.17 million barrels in 2013. Crude oil purchases this year is expected to top the quantity procured last year. One cargo of crude is estimated at 450,000 barrels.

The Authority estimates that a turbine consumes about 5,000 barrels of crude in a day. This requires about US$55million every three weeks to purchase crude for powering thermal plants in the country.

Financing of the crude oil purchases has, however, been very challenging for the Authority given that its tariff covers just 60% of operational cost. The Authority, at certain points had to fall on Fidelity Bank for loans to purchase crude.

Thermal power generation has come into sharp focus following the challenges posed by hydro-power generation, given poor water inflow into the Akosombo reservoir this year.

The contracted gas volume of 120 million standard cubic feet per day from Nigeria via the West Africa Gas Pipeline has been persistently unreliable.

Ghana’s own gas deposit offshore Cape Three Points is yet to be piped onshore, after several missed deadlines for completion of the country’s gas processing plant and ancillary equipment to power VRA’s plants in Takoradi.

This has necessitated the request for load-shedding by the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), the entity responsible for power transmission, at certain periods this year to maintain the integrity of their system.

Electricity demand in the country is mainly domestic-led. Domestic electricity consumption currently stands at 62 percent, while commercial and industrial consumption stands at 18 and 20 percent respectively.

Electricity demand increased to an all-time high of 12 percent in 2013, growing from the 2012 peak of 1,728.9 Megawatts (MW) to 1,942.9MW at the close of last year.

Over the last four years, however, the average year-to-year growth in demand for electricity has been about 10 percent.

The peak demand for 2011 was 1,664.3MW -- a 10.52 percentage growth over the 2010 demand of 1,505.9MW.

The estimated demand is growing and current projections indicate that the country’s requirements for electricity will hit 2,764.2MW in 2015.

For a country using under 2,000 megawatts of electricity currently, Ghana ought to be bringing on-stream 200 megawatts of new capacity every year. This additional capacity requires US$200million of annual investment.

Source: B&FT Online

]]> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 10:05:42 -0600 Ghana Chamber of mines support Ebola fight Ebola preventive wear

The Ghana Chamber of Mines has donated equipment worth GH₵100,000 to the Ministry of Health in support of national efforts and preparedness toward prevention of the Ebola disease in the country.

Amongst the equipment donated were 225 sets of full Personal Protective Equipment, 65 units of Infra-Red Thermometers, 30 Hospital Beds, and 66 Gallons of Bleach.

President of the Chamber Mr. Johan Ferreira and Chief Executive Officer Mr. SulemanKoney, during the presentation ceremony used the opportunity to brief the minister on the various interventions of the mining industry in the

economic and health sectors of the nation.

Mr. Ferreira said the body recognises that the most important input in its quest to leverage the country’s mineral resources and mining industry to foster shared prosperity is the human being.

“It is on account of the fundamental role of labour that we commend the government for its proactive steps to prevent the dreaded Haemorrhagic Fever, also known as Ebola, and putting in place mitigating measures in the

unlikely event of an incidence,” he said.

He commended President John Dramani Mahama for his leadership in rallying international support for the sister countries with recorded cases of Ebola.

Mr. Ferreira said members of the Ghana Chamber of Mines invested about US$1.5million on various health projects for their host communities.

He said the mining sector has profound positive footprints in the health sector, including its flagship annual National First Aid and Safety Competition; mining companies impart competency on emergency response training

and First Aid to members of their host communities through the formation of Community Safety Brigades.

Most mining companies educate their host communities on preventive medicine and put their health facilities at the disposal of community members.

Some projects undertaken by members of the Chamber include construction of community centres, schools, bore-holes for potable water, and Alternative Livelihood projects.

Some mining companies have replicated the highly successful Malaria control programme initiated by AngloGold Ashanti in Obuasi, which has reduced incidences of the disease malaria in the community significantly.

On the back of the success, the Global Fund has provided funding for AngloGold Ashanti to expand the project to other parts of the country.

The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Victor Asare Bampoe who received the equipment on behalf of the Ministry, commended the Management and staff of the Chamber as well as the corporate body of Ghana for the consistent

support to the Ministry since the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Source: B&FT Online

]]> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 09:52:47 -0600 Ghana: Italian investors target energy sector Akosombo

The huge gap in the country’s energy supply, and government policies aimed at improving the sector took centre stage during the first Ghana Trade & Investment Forum initiated by the Italian government in Rome, Italy.

The forum held in Rome, as a prelude to the Green Economy Expo (ECOMONDO) in Rimini and the World Expo in 2015, attracted 250 Italian companies mainly in the renewable energy and waste management sectors, and 40 Ghanaian companies, Ministries Departments and Agencies.

The event was aimed at strengthening the bilateral relationship between Ghana and Italy.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) office in Rome recommended World Trade Centre (WTC) Accra to also facilitate the organisation of private sector participants for the Ghana country presentation in Italy.

Togbe Afede XIV, Chairman of the World Trade Centre-Accra who was leader of the Ghanaian private sector delegation, sharing experience with the media in Accra, explained that the Ghanaian delegation presented the energy sector problem as an opportunity that the Italians businesses bought into it.

“For the energy sector it focused on renewable energy, wind, solar, waste to power, and they are keen to take advantage of the gap in the supply of energy and seize the government policy of increasing the contribution from the energy sector,” he said.

He said the country presentation’s objective is to showcase the country’s investment opportunities to Italian investors. “It was an opportunity to sell Ghana. They were keen in agriculture, construction, energy, real-estate, and across all the industrial sectors.

“Some of the Italians are ready to sign joint ventures with their Ghanaian business counterparts as early as possible.

“Most Italians were full of praise for Ghana as the best destination and most favourable investment destination for business to thrive,” he added.

Togbe Afede advised the Ghanaian private business leaders to prepare for doing international business.

“The private sector should ensure it understands international business relationships to help meet global standards.

“The private sector must go a step further, so when they go out to do business with their international counterparts they can meet the world standards.”

Mr. Akwasi Opong-Fosu, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation observed that the investment forum was highly patronised by the Italian business community.

“We should as a country have positive thinking about the economy and focus on the country’s success story to attract the Italian business community.

“The country’s political and economic growth are favourable indicators; attracting major Italian businesses to come and invest in the country’s economy,” he said.

The delegation was received by the Ambassador of Ghana to Italy, Evelyn Anita Stokes-Hayford. There were presentations by Riccardo Maria Monti, President ICE-Italian Trade Promotion Agency; Laura Carpini, Ambassador of Italy to Ghana; Michele Valensise, Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Italy; Roberto Binatti, General Directorate for sustainable Development, Climate and Energy, Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea.


Source:  B&FT Online 

]]> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 09:44:15 -0600 Ghana: Oil cash usage not felt Seth Terkper

The use of oil revenue by central government is yet to be felt four years after the start of commercial oil production in the country, Ishmael Edjekumhene, Executive Director of the Kumasi Institute of Technology, Energy, and Environment (KITE) has said.

The impact of oil revenue, according to Mr. Edjekumhene, is yet to be felt because the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) as prescribed by the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (2011) to be used for developmental projects has been thinly spread due to the absence of a national development plan.

The ABFA, which constitutes 70 percent of the net Ghana’s petroleum receipts, is expected to be used for various development projects.

“That’s the best way not to spend the oil money at all. Nigeria can at least point to Abuja as what they have built with their oil revenue. We need a national development plan that will specify what projects oil money should be spent on. Absence of a national development plan is one of the weaknesses that we should address,” Mr. Edjekumhene said.

He was speaking at a project inception workshop for a three-year impact evaluation research titled “Examining transparency and accountability within the oil and gas sector: Impact evaluation of key provisions in Ghana’s Petroleum Management Act.”

An amount of US$204.90million was allocated to the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) in 2013.

Total petroleum receipts for the first eight months of this year stands at US$2billion

Finance Ministry data shows that oil revenue as captured in the ABFA have so far been expended on the construction of classroom blocks for different communities, dams and irrigation systems, and boreholes.

Others include water supply projects, construction of the Ankaful Maximum Prison, medical laboratories, rural electrification projects, and the construction of housing units for the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI).

Major Daniel Sowah Ablorh-Quarcoo (Rtd), Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) said: “Oil revenue is so far coming in trickles. We are nowhere near the kind of revenue that a real oil producing country should be looking at. We are only doing about 100,000 barrels, while Nigeria produces 2million barrels per day.”

“Comparing government’s revenue from other sources, oil revenue has not developed the muscles yet -- but that does not mean we should not help. We should help it develop the muscles, and when the muscles are developed then it should be able to run.

“We should not sit back and allow wastage to take precedence like has happened in the other extractive industries such as gold, diamond and so forth. If you go back to those communities where gold and diamonds have been extracted, you will feel sorry for them because we haven’t done much,” he said.

The US$571,000 three-year project, to be undertaken by KITE and its partners, is expected to examine transparency and accountability within the oil and gas sector, and evaluate the impact of key provisions in Ghana’s Petroleum Revenue Management Act (Act 815).

The study also seeks to investigate the impact of two notable provisions of the PRMA -- the creation of a Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) and Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) -- in enhancing transparency and accountability in the management of petroleum revenues in Ghana.

The finding of this project is expected to inform policymakers and government about key areas where citizens would like to see oil revenue channeled.

Source:  B&FT Online

]]> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 09:37:12 -0600 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

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