Business News of 2013-12-09

Demand for gas to exceed supply by 2018

A policy expert says the country's demand for gas will outstrip supply by 2018, prompting government to start thinking fast about how to satisfy the deficit.

Speaking on Multi TV's Tarzan's Take, Executive Director at Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), Mohammed Amin Adam, predicted that Ghana will have as much as 400 million standard cubic feet of gas supply by 2018.

He breaks down the sources of supply as 120 million standard cubic feet from Jubilee Oil Fields while Sankofa will bring an additional 200million and TEN oil fields an estimated 80 million standard cubic feet.

Bad News

Nonetheless the substantial supply of gas will by 2018 be insufficient for a growing local demand for gas supply which according to Mr Adam will reach 600 million standard cubic feet.

This will create a deficit of about 200 million by the same period. The gas supply cannot meet the need for electricity, he added. The news presents challenges with plans to build a fertilizer industry based on the supply of natural gas.

President John Dramani Mahama this year announced that Ghana would soon start producing one million metric tons of fertiliser per annum to feed the local and the international markets.

He said the 1.3 billion dollar fertiliser processing plant at Nyankrom in the Western Region, a joint venture between Ghana and India, had reached an advanced stage of completion, with the exception of gas supply to power the plant.

Bridging the deficit

Already, Ing. Kirk Koffi, CEO of the Volta River Authority has emphasized the need for the country look elsewhere for alternative sources of fuel, saying that the country's current reliance on crude oil is not sustainable for an emerging economy like Ghana.

The way forward is to look for alternative sources of gas, Mr Adam recommended and backed efforts by government for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to power thermal plants across the country.