Interview: Benjamin Asante

In what ways can Ghana enhance the processing capacity of its gas companies?

BENJAMIN ASANTE: The country’s quest to bolster its gas processing capacity is a policy priority, with significant expansion plans revolving around fortifying the critical infrastructure that underpins the industry. This encompasses the enhancement and scaling of both processing and transport infrastructure. Installing a second gas processing plant by 2026 is part of Ghana’s planned upgrades to its processing infrastructure. This addition is expected to not only increase gas processing capacity, but also act as a strategic move to accommodate the expected surge in gas flows in the years to come.

Transmission pipelines, which are characterised by their large diameter, form the backbone of the distribution network. The planned transmission pipeline between Takoradi and Tema is expected to further support the energy landscape. This interconnection between two critical centres of power generation should help to safeguard the country against potential power disruptions, while also strengthening its energy security. The proposed expansion will extend the use of gas to areas such as combined heat and power generation, mineral processing, iron ore refining, ceramics production and secondary industries such as agriculture. This strategy is in alignment with Ghana’s broader goals of economic diversification.

How can the implementation of new technologies enhance the competitiveness of gas companies?

ASANTE: Technology is a cornerstone for competitiveness in the industry, with advanced technology solutions being incorporated by gas processing companies. For example, transitioning from the conventional Joule-Thomson valves pressure regulators to a more efficient turbo expansion technology is expected to be a key feature in gas processing plants that have yet to be built. This change should increase the extraction efficiency of natural gas liquids notably, from 40% to 85%. Technological advancement improves the production capabilities of gas processing companies, as well as caters to national demand for liquefied petroleum gas. By remaining at the forefront of technology, gas processing companies can secure their position as industry leaders, meeting the evolving needs of the market and supporting Ghana’s economic growth.

What role is natural gas expected to play in the country’s energy transition?

ASANTE: Natural gas is poised to be a vital transition fuel as the world seeks to reduce carbon emissions. With its lower carbon content in comparison to other fossil fuels, natural gas is a more environmentally friendly option for energy production. This shift aligns with the global push towards carbon neutrality. In addition to bolstering Ghana’s energy security, embracing natural gas as a bridge fuel addresses environmental concerns. As a reliable and greener energy source, natural gas contributes to a stable and secure energy landscape, a critical factor in the country’s economic development and national well-being.

Which factors are driving growth in the gas production and distribution segment?

ASANTE: The key growth drivers in Ghana’s gas production and distribution segment are multifaceted. The government is currently crafting a comprehensive gas master plan that provides clear institutional and regulatory frameworks. Simultaneously, Ghana is seeking to develop a favourable fiscal regime to attract foreign direct investment and financing.

Encouraging private sector participation is another vital component of this strategy. Moreover, the country recognises the importance of nurturing local intellectual capacity to sustain the industry’s development. These drivers collectively propel the vision of making Ghana a prominent centre for gas production and distribution, fostering economic growth and energy security.