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13.06.16 - Africa's largest private investment is in Ghana - Alex Mould

Ghana has been touted as the most attractive business destination in sub-Saharan Africa, as this is further buttressed by the fact that the West African country is hosting the largest investment ever undertaken in the sub-region. An analysis of investments into Africa’s petroleum industry at this week’s Africa Oil and Power Conference revealed that the West African country’s US$ 7 billion gas project is the largest ever investment undertaken, also doubling as the largest gas-to-power project in sub-Saharan Africa.

This putting forward of Ghana was contained in the keynote address delivered by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Mr. Alexander Kofi Mensah Mould, in South Africa, to kick start the Continental Conference in Cape Town, on Monday. According to Mr. Mould, the Ghana’s investment suitability in attracting the multi-billion dollar investment, leading to the development of the Sankofa Gye Nyame gas fields, is a model for the continent, inviting other countries to learn from. He was proud it is also the largest project ever guaranteed by the World Bank.

The multi-billion dollar investment is expected to pay off in 2017, as it will start producing oil offshore Ghana. “And the gas, which is expected in the first quarter of 2018, will usher Ghana into the gas era. The impact of Sankofa gas on the economy of Ghana is expected to be transformative. It will provide reliable base-load natural gas enough to generate up to 1,100MW of power. It will be a major contribution to ending Ghana’s perennial energy crises,” Alex Mould promised.

From his presentation, it was clear that operators of power generating plants in Ghana are to prepare to change their sources of fuel from Light Crude Oil to the natural gas expected to flow in two years’ time from the gas fields. Justifying the upcoming changes to gas, the GNPC CEO said: “It will serve as a cleaner and more efficient replacement for light crude oil. This would be a significant contribution to curbing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The change from light crude oil and heavy fuel oil to lean gas is expected to culminate into a drastic reduction in the cost of electricity in Ghana, thereby lessening the burden on industrial and domestic consumers of electricity in the country. Further championing the case of Ghana as the best destination for investment, Alex Mould provided some exciting statistics to the effect that since the discovery of Jubilee fields, off shore Ghana, exploration activities in Ghana have recorded over 70% success rate. That rate of success, according to the GNPC CEO is about a double the global average for successes recorded.

Mr. Mould went on further to woo investors at the Conference, revealing that in spite of the huge success rate in Ghana, the country and its sister sub-Saharan countries remain relatively underexplored when compared to other regions. He revealed that the exploration density for sub-Saharan Africa is 0.3 wells per million square kilometres, compared with 1.1 wells per million square kilometres in North Africa, and 3.1 wells per million square kilometres in central Asia. Explaining this He extended a hand of partnership to oil companies looking for virgin opportunities to look towards Ghana.

It came to light that oil and gas exploration spending reached unprecedented levels for Africa nearly hitting US $15 billion annually, between 2012 and 2013. This is compared to an average of $4.7 billion spent annually in the previous decade. Telling of the results achieved within the period: “the exploration results are staggering. Gas discoveries made from 2010 to 2013 in sub-Saharan accounted for 75% of all the gas discoveries in the region over the past 20 years” Mr. Mould added.

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