A deputy energy minister, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, said the drastic reduction of fossil fuel projects by Western countries coupled with the review of activities by exploration companies are threats to the growing oil sector from Ghana.
“There is a real risk of stranded assets due to Ghana’s vast untapped oil and gas reserves.
Notwithstanding the above, Ghana still views its crude as a vital resource for national development and the very means it can use to fund its path to net zero status,” he said.
Mr. Mercer said so when he delivered a keynote address at the Africa Energies 2022 Summit in London.
It was attended by key energy players investing in the continent and decision makers ranging from businesses operating in Africa to fast-moving independents, financial, legal services and procurement firms, as well as African governments and corporations. national oil companies looking for investors.
From renewable sources
Mr. Mercer noted that the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources, as well as the financial implications of the technology needed to operate them efficiently, make renewables unable to meet base load demands.
He said that for Ghana and other African countries, natural gas had been identified as the transitional fuel of choice, a finding that required the pursuit of responsible oil and gas exploration and production.
“It should also be noted that petroleum products will remain a need for a few decades despite the global shift away from fossil fuels,” he added.
Mr. Mercer told investors that in light of this reality and in line with Ghana’s ambition to become a hub for refined petroleum products in West Africa by 2030, the country had launched the Petroleum Project. Hub.
“The hub is intended to accommodate three refineries, each with a minimum production capacity of 300,000 barrels per day; five petrochemical plants, industrial and storage infrastructure. Some 20,000 acres of land have been secured in Jomoro Municipality in the Western Region of Ghana for this project,” he said.
He stressed that Ghana was open to investment in the hub, explaining that factors such as the country’s central location and access to dynamic shipping lanes, which provided easy access to regional markets, made the hub project viable.
Mr. Mercer added that Ghana understood the need to develop a national energy transition plan to guide its journey towards achieving net zero status at a realistic pace given its unique circumstances.
Carbon Dioxide Emission
Mr. Mercer urged the world to sympathize and accept the continent’s urgent need for basic development with available resources, while honoring collective energy commitments especially as Africa’s total contribution to global carbon emissions was less than 4%.
He said it was incumbent on African nations to employ new and innovative methods to attract energy finance and investment.
“Local technical capacity must be rapidly built to reduce dependence on Western aid, and cross-border energy-related collaborations between African nations must be encouraged.
This would ultimately ensure that African nations derive maximum value from their oil and gas resources,” he added.
He noted that the energy transition comes with certain benefits that African states need to pay particular attention to, including the opportunity for industry, while emphasizing that commercial enterprise in the renewable energy market has the potential to generate income, create jobs and improve energy security.
“Ghana’s recent discovery of high-grade lithium is an opportunity the government intends to capitalize on to explore the real possibility of manufacturing solar batteries locally.
Natural sunshine has also become a commodity that African countries need to position themselves to fully exploit,” Mercer added.