By Mckyntosh Essuman Aidoo
Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah, has disclosed Ghana’s willingness to take advantage of the Japanese government’s proposed US$32 billion, intended to support developing economies in Africa, in areas of infrastructure development and energy, to improve living standards in the region.
Mr. Kofi-Buah, who made the disclosure during a courtesy call on him by a delegation from Sojitz Corporation, a Japanese company undertaking the $125 million seawater desalination project in Nungua, Accra to discuss progress of the project and other investments opportunities in the Energy sector, noted that Ghana’s excellent relationship with Japan could be further strengthened with increase investments.
The Minister, accompanied by his Deputies; Benjamin Dagadu and John Jinapor assured the leader of the delegation and Executive Vice-President of Sojitz Corporation, Mr. Joji Suzuki of government’s support for foreign investments, adding, “Ghana has an excellent relationship with Japan and other foreign investors in the country”.
Mr. Suzuki on his part, revealed his satisfaction during his visit to the project site and commended government for ensuring a smooth rollout of the desalination project, further stating that Sojitz Corporation is considering additional investments in Ghana and other parts of the sub-region.
He also mentioned plans to do first test of water at the project site by the end of the year, adding that a team from Japan would arrive in the country to present a detailed presentation to government on the ongoing project.
Mr. Shinohara, an Executive Director of the Corporation, added that their next visit to the Minister would see them presenting a proposal on a new concept in Independent Power Production (IPP), which is widely accepted in parts of Middle East and Asia, but is relatively unknown in Africa for government’s consideration.
The Teshie project, which will begin commercial operations in 2014, is expected to supply 60,000 m3 of drinking water to about 600,000 people in Teshie and surrounding communities.
The desalinated water will be sold to Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), under a long term water sales contract of 25 years to ensure stable provision of drinking water on a long-term basis in the capital.
The project is the first desalination project in sub-Saharan Africa, and also the first investment by a Japanese corporation in Africa.