ACCRA, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- China has made significant contributions to Ghana's utilization of natural gas resources, which has acted as a catalyst for improved economic development, a Ghanaian energy official has said.
Victor Sunu-Attah, general manager of the state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), made the remarks during the 2023 Ghana Oil and Gas Conference in Accra, the capital of Ghana, Tuesday.
In an interview with Xinhua, Sunu-Attah commended China for its financial support and technical expertise in helping establish Ghana's first gas processing plant, Ghana Gas, located in the Western Region. This facility, along with associated gas pipelines, transports natural gas to thermal plants in various parts of the country.
"Gas utilization is one of the success stories of Ghana's oil and gas sector. When we were building Ghana Gas, we had a facility from China, and they helped us build the gas infrastructure," he said.
The official highlighted the China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) as a leading partner in building this world-class gas processing facility, saying the Chinese firm not only helped construct the plant but also trained local Ghanaians in managing it, ensuring that Ghana could harness natural gas to power its economic activities.
Sunu-Attah also noted that the Chinese firm played a pivotal role in developing the local human resource base necessary for the ongoing and future management of such a facility.
"When Sinopec completed the construction and operation of the facility after several years, they transferred knowledge to our Ghanaian operators, technicians, engineers, as well as individuals in the legal and finance sectors. Today, when you visit Ghana Gas, you will find that the workforce is predominantly Ghanaian, and Ghana has benefitted immensely," the official added.
He emphasized that initial collaborations with countries possessing expertise, including China, have enabled Ghana to acquire knowledge and use it as leverage to build local capacity.
Sunu-Attah described the development of gas resources as a game changer for the country in various aspects, especially its contribution to the stability of power generation.
One of the challenges the country faced was the cost of fuels to power electricity plants, he said, adding that these plants used to rely on light crude oil or diesel, which was expensive, and as soon as gas became available, the country could build the gas processing plant and pipelines.
Although the gas sector is relatively new in Ghana, the country has efficiently harnessed its resources, making it one of the success stories of the oil and gas industry and a significant driver of economic development.
"Ghana may not have abundant gas resources like Nigeria or Equatorial Guinea, but we are making excellent use of the resources we do have to support economic activities," Sunu-Attah concluded. ■