President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Mr Pavel Oderov at the Flagstaff House on Friday
Ghana will in January 2018 sign a contract with GAZPROM, a Russian company and the world’s largest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), for gas to feed a re-gasification plant to be built in Tema.
The move is to ensure the availability of adequate fuel and power to support the industrialisation agenda of the country.
This came to light when a delegation from the energy sector of Russia paid a courtesy call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Flagstaff House Friday.
The group was in the country to complete negotiations with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) towards the execution of the contract.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said Ghana was pleased to be associated with a company of GAZPROM’s renown and strength.
He said it was more appreciative that the company had decided to open an operational base in Ghana, saying Ghana was still trying to recover from the economic decline it had undergone over the past four years.
The President said the relationship with GAZPROM was an important one in the history of relations between Ghana and Russia and recounted the collaboration and co-operation that had existed between the two countries.
He added that although Russia’s relations with Ghana became dormant for a while “we are happy that you have come back.”
He expressed the hope that the renewed relationship would be solid and lead to more fruitful outcomes between not only the two governments, but the business entities of both countries.
“We are going to do all that we need to do to ensure that this relationship is successful,” President Nana Akufo-Addo stated.
Need for more gas
Elaborating on the contract, the Minister of Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko, said Ghana would require a lot more gas as the country stepped up its development agenda.
“If we are to do the bauxite project, agro-chemicals and petro-chemicals and also ensure fuel availability for power generation, then it is necessary that we get gas at the right price. Going out onto the contract market to source for LNG can be very expensive,” Mr Agyarko said.
According to Mr Agyarko, the move will affect the pricing of power, making it cheaper for businesses in order to bring down the cost of doing business in the country and facilitate the growth of more businesses.
“The importance of reducing the cost of producing power is that it allows us to charge a cheaper price for power to our citizens and also to industry so that they would become more competitive in the region, expand their production and be able to offer more employment to our citizens,” he said.
That, Mr Agyarko said, was consistent with the vision of the President that employment, particularly youth employment, was a key factor to the nation’s growth and stability.
Biggest GAZPROM investment
The Leader of the Russian delegation, Mr Pavel Oderov, who also doubles as the Head of the International Business Department of GAZPROM, said the contract with Ghana was one of the biggest in the company’s investment portfolio.
He said as the world’s leading supplier of gas, it supplied 11 percent of the world’s gas needs last year and had more than 10 years in the industry.
Mr Oderov described the contract with Ghana as “huge” and “important” for both Ghana and GAZPROM “and we are very sure that we will become a reliable partner for your energy industry.”