Energy Minister Scores High Marks


… At Ministerial Appraisal, Major Achievements Recorded In 2013

By Alfred Dogbey

The ongoing performance assessment of sector ministers by President John Dramani Mahama, is said to have put the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Kofi Armah-Buah in the lead, with the highest marks among his colleague Minister of Education, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, despite his supplementary duties as Member of Parliament (MP) of Ellembelle in the Western Region.

Documents in possession of The Herald, details some of the significant achievements recorded by the Energy Ministry in 2013, especially in power generation. These include, Rural Electrification projects, Installation of Solar Systems and Solar Lantern Distribution with “a total of 534 MW of power brought on stream this year”.

Education Minister, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, is reported to have mainly focused on high enrolments at various educational institutions as her biggest achievement.

The significant achievements at Energy Ministry, is believed to have ended the menace of load shedding exercise by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). Indeed, Bui Dam starts supplying to the country at full capacity from tomorrow.

A report sent to a Policy Unit, appraising the ministers and cited by The Herald gave the breakdown as “the completion of work on the 132 MW T3 plant at Takoradi, completion of work on the 400 MW Bui Dam and 2 MW Solar Power at Navrongo,” whilst “work on the expansion of T2 Thermal plant at Aboadze by 11 OMW has also begun and is progressing steadily”.

At the area of Rural Electrification, “a total of 1,949 communities have been connected to the National Grid, under the Rural Electrification Project. These communities are mostly located in the Northern, Upper West, Upper East, Ashanti Central and Western Regions”, Mr. Boah report said.

In the installation of Solar Systems it said, “about 15,000 Solar Systems are being installed in public institutions, such as Police Stations, Health Centres, Schools and other public places, mostly in areas where there are no electricity connections”, whilst an estimated number of “20,000 Solar lanterns are being distributed nationwide to lakeside communities, as well as, other areas that do not have electricity”.

Also, “solar lanterns have been distributed in 44 Districts at subsidized rates, under the kerosene lantern replacement programme”.

On crude oil production, It also came to light that, “total oil produced from the Jubilee Oil Field from January 1 to November 2013, has increased to 32,680,044 barrels giving an average daily production rate of around 102,969 barrels a day”.

“The Ghana Group has lifted 4,977,922 barrels from January to August 2013 with gross value of US$533,461,086”, The Herald gathered.

The Minister, had also led the Ministry to “establish an Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) to train and equip SMEs with the requisite skills to be competitive in the oil and gas industry in Takoradi. So far, 180 Ghanaian SMEs had been registered”.

Further assessment of Armah-Buah-led Energy Ministry revealed the “establishment of the Jubilee Technical Training Centre in Takoradi Polytechnic to provide hands-on technical skills for Ghanaians in the oil industry”.

At the petroleum sector, it has been established that “Local Content and Local Participation Regulations, 2013 (Ll2204) passed by Parliament to empower Ghanaians in the oil and gas industry, two Petroleum Agreements approved by Parliament to ensure more oil exploration in Ghana” as well as “exploration and Production Bill to ensure more transparency in the upstream oil industry has been approved by Cabinet to be presented to Parliament”.

Other achievements chalked within the one year period of Mr. Armah-Buah-led Energy Ministry include the “approval given for…development for Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) field for more oil production and Sankofa East and Gye Nyame discoveries’ commerciality certified”.

These are “estimated to contain reserves of about 116 million barrels of oil and 1,110 billion cubic feet of gas as Plan of development (POD) negotiations currently ongoing”.

The Ministry has also initiated Rural LPG Promotion Programme “to distribute gas cylinders and cook stoves to rural communities. The programme has started in the Garu Tempane District of the Upper East Region with the Distribution of 1,500 cylinders and stoves on pilot basis. This is going to be replicated in 2014 across the country.

Other remarkable successes includes, “construction of 1500 Metric Tonnes LPG storage Tank to eliminate the perennial shortage of LPG in the country, construction of the gas processing plant at Atuabo is ongoing and is scheduled to be completed by the middle of next year.

This according to the Energy Ministry “when completed, would help to process Ghana’s gas from the Jubilee field, which will make Gas always available to Ghana’s Thermal plants. This would also lead to the construction of more thermal plants and also help to reduce the cost of electricity”.

The Ministerial appraisal is based on benchmarks, including targets in the 2013 budget and the manifesto of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Deputy Information and Media Relations Minister, Murtala Mohammed, said the detailed assessment and performance of one of the ministries would soon be put out.

He said cynics, who mocked at the decision by the president to appraise his ministers would now have to revise their notes.

The Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) suggested among other things, yesterday that the public ought to be involved in the appraisal processes in order to make it a lot more transparent.

But the deputy minister disagreed.

“I also do not think that CDD will be downplaying the fact that informing people as to the policy and programmes that you have is not part of good governance.

“I do not also think that the CDD will undermine the fact that people will be well informed as to targets that were set. Within CDD, I believe they have targets they set for themselves, do we know those targets?” he asked.

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