Chinese energy giant helps Ghana develop oil, gas industry

Jun 12, 2015 12:00 AM

Chinese Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) says it is committed to supporting Ghana to develop its oil and gas industry so that the West African country can derive maximum benefits from its rich hydrocarbon resources.

"We are here definitely for the long haul. I think it's a long term strategy to assist and support Ghana in all of its needs, economic and social and anything that we can contribute to the improvement of the country," said Mushtaq Kaloo, engineering advisor to Sinopec.

Kaloo spoke to Xinhua in a recent interview at Ghana's first ever Gas Processing Plant (GPP), located at Atuabo, 327 km west of the capital, which was constructed by Sinopec.

Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) contracted Sinopec in July 2012 to construct the gas facility to take over the associated gas coming from the Jubilee oil fields. The facility started processing gas last November.

After building the facility, the Chinese company signed a two-year contract to operate and maintain the plant while training young Ghanaian engineers in its operation and maintenance.

"We have brought in our expertise from Beijing, China. Those who are experts in operation and maintenance and running such facilities which are much bigger facilities than this are running in China, huge facilities," said Kaloo.

"We've got a team of hardcore staff — operation staff, maintenance staff, inspection staff, and they are here, running the plant with Ghanaians working with Ghana Gas, under the authority of Ghana Gas," said Kaloo.

By the end of the contract, he said, there will be a pool of knowledgeable Ghanaians who will be able to operate and maintain the US$850 million facility financed by the China Development Bank (CDB).

Sinopec is also in the process of building a pipeline — an expansion of the main onshore gas pipeline from Esiama, 292 km west of the capital, to Prestea, 318 km west of the capital, where Ghana plans to develop a hydrocarbon propelled minerals complex.

"The petrol chemical park and development that is going to take place in Prestea: this is something that Sinopec will definitely take part and will participate in any proposal in any development of power plant in Prestea or power plant in Duminle. Sinopec is well placed to provide such facilities," Kaloo stated.

According to him, the company is well placed to assist Ghana in the development of its energy and hydrocarbon needs, whether it is Prestea or Aboadze or Tema or anywhere else.

Wang Xianghui, deputy project manager for the Sinopec Ghana projects, said the project is of great benefit to Ghana, with enormous benefits in terms of commercializing gas reserves in Ghana, as well as boosting Ghana's industrial development and economic growth in the areas of power generation and fertilizers.

"It is also a catalyst for industrialization in the manufacturing of salt, alumina and petrochemicals such as plastics and methanol. It is also important in creating jobs and improving of the quality of life for the citizens of Ghana," Wang added.

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