Business News of 2014-09-02

‘Atuabo Gas will optimize tariffs’

The Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) has assured Ghanaians that the successful completion of the gas processing project at Atuabo in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region will help optimize the tariffs regime in the country.

This came to light when members of the Technical Committee of PURC paid a visit to the gas processing project site at Atuabo to assess the level of work at Atuabo.

The nation is likely to gain about $1 billion per year when the gas project becomes fully operational to ease pressure on the country’s foreign exchange.

The country is currently using crude oil to power its thermal plants, which is expensive.

The Atuabo Gas Plant would provide an initial 120 million cubic feet of gas per day to the Aboadze Thermal Plant to generate electricity and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for domestic use.

Dr Emmanuel Annan, Board Chairman of PURC, who led the Technical Committee, indicated that upon completion, the project would help to reduce the tariffs paid by consumers or maintain the current tariffs.

He explained that the project would help provide cheap, reliable and efficient electricity supply to Ghanaians, adding that “the higher the cost of fuel in power generation, the higher the tariffs.”

He expressed satisfaction with the level of work at the gas processing plant at Atuabo.

The Director of Public Relations and External Affairs of PURC, Nana Yaa Gyantua, indicated that “gas is a cheap source of energy as compared to crude oil, which is used by government and other independent power-producing companies.” The Technical Committee members earlier visited the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Aboadze Thermal Plant to learn at first-hand the operational challenges hampering the production of electricity in the country.

The proposed plans and programmes were presented to the Technical Committee.

Nana Yaa Gyantuah said the visit was also to find out how the management of the VRA was trying to improve the power situation.

Nana Yaa Jantuah added that the committee was committed to ensuring the delivery of quality utility services to consumers.

Stephen Owusu, Maintenance Engineer and Manager at the VRA, noted that the gas project would enhance the company’s operations.

He said currently the country spends millions of dollars daily on crude oil and that with the production of gas from Atuabo, the country would spend half of the amount spent on crude oil.

Mr. Owusu however added that the gas would only complement and ensure availability but would not halt the power outages that the country was facing.