The Minister for Energy Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh has outlined his engagements so far at the Energy Sector in resolving the persistent power outages in some parts of the Country.
The Minister has reiterated that, he is in a good position to protect the Energy Sector in the interests of government.
At a press briefing by the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) Ltd at the Ministry of Information on the recent power situation in the country, The Minister has emphasized that the current power challenges in the country are not due to power generation or fuel shortages, but rather due to technical issues.
He further clarified that none of the current challenges are due to government owing any entity, and that Ghana has put in place mechanisms where every generator, transmitter and distributor of electricity is paid something regularly. “I wish to assure Ghanaians that the current difficulties are in the short term whilst we work hard to ensure reliable power supply.” He explained.
Below are the engagements of Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh in the Energy Sector intercepted by Coverghana.com.gh
1. He met a team from the Petroleum Commission (PC), led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Egbert Faibille Jnr to provide an update on their activities in the Petroleum Upstream sector, and also to discuss some of their pertinent challenges. He charged the Commission to increase the level of local content in our oil and gas industry and was pleased to learn that various projects such as sponsoring welders to attain world class certification are ongoing.
2. Dr. Opoku revealed that, they are also introducing a gas clearing house where funds will be made available to the suppliers of fuel for our generators.
3. He pays a working visit to Tema Oil Refinery, met with management and staff and emphasized government’s commitment towards ensuring the viability of TOR to make it a leading player on the African continent. According to Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, TOR is a prized and strategic national asset and can fulfill its mandate if all stakeholders come together in a purposive way to give true meaning to President Akufo-Addo’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.
4. The minister also held separate meetings with the executives of the Tanker Drivers Union and the Tanker Owners Union to discuss a few issues that are relevant to their operations to ensure stable supply of petroleum products.
5. He met delegation from the Ghana Upstream Petroleum Chamber (GUPC), led by its CEO, Mr. David Ampofo to discuss issues of interest to the Sector.
6. He met with the leading executives of Vitol, a global leader in energy distribution led by the company’s Country Manager, Mr. James Thorburn. Thermal energy issues and energy pricing were key in their discussions, which were very fruitful and engaging towards crude oil supply, exploration and production and product supply and trading.
7. The Minister had engagement with the Managing Director and Country Chairman of Shell Energy, Mr. Brian Muriuki. He noted that the return of Shell Energy to Ghana after a period of absence will help address key issues at the Energy Sector and looked forward to the execution of their long term agreement with Ghana to provide Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), as an alternative fuel for powering plants.
8. Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh also met Sunan Asogli Power Ltd, led by Togbe Afede XIV, co-founder of the company. Asogli Power is a longstanding partner in energy delivery in the country, with its 560MW plant occupying 15% of the market share and with projects in several countries across Africa. Its plans and proposals on renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and waste-to-energy projects are interesting. The Ministry of Energy is looking at its expansion plans and discuss the way forward accordingly.
9. In a bid to maintain transparency to the people of Ghana, the Minister earlier summoned a meeting with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to request the maintenance schedules for their power plants. These schedules will help in providing adequate and timely information to the public, should these planned mandatory maintenances affect power supply.
According to him, the public will in due course be updated on which plants will be in maintenance, when they are scheduled to be maintained and any effects as a result of these essential works.
10. He also had engagement with a team from the Petroleum Commission (PC), led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Egbert Faibille to provide an update on their activities in the Petroleum Upstream sector, and also to discuss some of their pertinent challenges. He charged the Commission to increase the level of local content in our oil and gas industry and was pleased to learn that various projects such as sponsoring welders to attain world class certification are ongoing.
11. Again, he had a virtual meeting with the CEO of Tullow Oil, Mr. Rahul Dhir. the Managing Director of Tullow Ghana Ltd, Mr. Wissam Al-Monthiry and other leading executives of the company in Ghana. The purpose of the meeting was to receive briefings about the company’s operations in Ghana, its strategic direction for 2021 and beyond and also to discuss a number of outstanding issues between Tullow Oil and the Government of Ghana.
In the Minister’s remarks, he stressed that the NPP government believes in the ability of individuals and entities to make profits from their investments, noting that Tullow and others invested in Ghana when no-one thought it was worth doing so. He also noted Tullow’s significant contribution to our education system in particular as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) functions.
Dr. Opoku further stated that Government believes in honesty and collaboration for a ‘win-win’ situation, and that for the company’s concerns about outstanding issues to be resolved, it was important to adopt the shortest path towards that goal.
12. Earlier, he held a virtual appraisal meeting with the World Bank on matters pertaining to the energy sector. The discussions included the activities of the Ghana Energy Sector Transformation Initiative Project (GESTIP) support for the Ministry of Energy as well as challenges pertaining specifically to the gas and power sectors. The Minister said, he has observed that gas prices in this country affect uptake by industry as they are too high and that this needs to be addressed if we are to make progress in our industrialization agenda. He also noted that ECG’s inability to account for 31% of the power it receives is a matter of concern and that it would become necessary at some point to introduce reforms, alongside renegotiating PURC’s utility tariffs.
13. He also met the Acting British High Commissioner, Mr. Philip Smith, at the Ministry of Energy to discuss matters of mutual interest between Ghana and the United Kingdom in the energy sector. He was accompanied by the Deputy Development Director, Mr. Richard Sandall. Their engaging and fruitful discussions revolved around issues of climate change, utility tariff policy, solar power, wind power and other sources of renewable energy.