Business News of 2014-08-08

Publish cost of Atuabo gas processing plant – ACEP demands

Energy and research think-tank, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) is asking government and the Ghana National Gas Company to make public the specific amount committed to the construction of the Atuabo gas processing plant.

According to earlier reports, the plant was expected to cost the country 750 million dollars.

But the Director of Research at ACEP, John-Peter Amewu said the repeated rescheduling of the project has added more cost to the initial estimates.

“Every project has what we call the timeline in terms of the date of completion even if it is not going to add any infrastructural cost. Operational costs are time bound, your labour cost varies according to the duration of the project, so a delay in the project has cost implications, and there is no doubt about that. The delay has added more cost to it than we expect,” he said.

According to him, to ensure transparency and accountability, project managers "must come out to tell Ghanaians clearly how much this project cost because it is our money, we are using part of our oil revenue to finance it.”

This comes after reports that the facility, which has the capacity to generate about 140 million standard cubic feet of natural gas a day, has been completed.

Meanwhile, ACEP is also asking government to learn lessons from the current challenges in the management of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and appoint managers of the gas processing plant on merit.

“It is important that this company must be run effectively. My fear is that if we are not careful, Ghana gas will become like the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), a good company with worsening financial position in terms of its balance sheet…; there has not been any credible operator agreement that has been signed,” he stated.

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