Engineers working on Ghana’s first gas plant have almost completed their work and a first class gas plant will be constructed, Dr. Sipa Yankey has said.
Dr Yankey, the CEO of the Ghana Gas Company, speaking to ghanabusinessnews.com indicated that a lot of work has been done by the engineers to prepare the stage for the commencement of the project, adding that “engineers have almost completed their work and we are going to put up a first class gas plant for Ghanaians.”
He also said all affected farmers that will be affected as a result of the project shall be compensated.
Meanwhile, the affected farmers and fishermen in the Bonyere community say they are waiting patiently for the valuation work on the proposed site for the construction of the $1.2 billion gas plant linked to the Jubilee oil fields to be completed, so that the compensation due them would be paid to them. But as they wait, the project is being relocated to Atuabo.
Officials at the Ghana Gas Company have told ghanabusinessnews.com that the plant will be relocated to Atuabo.
Speaking exclusively to ghanabusinessnews.com during a visit to the Western Region last week, the Assembly member for Akasnazo area in the Bonyere community, Hon. Peter Nweah said “coconut is our main work and all we are asking for is to be compensated no matter how small it is.”
“The people of Bonyere are peace-loving and would not do anything to disrupt the project,” he added. “I will not bring guns to fight anybody; all that I am doing is just to educate my people about their rights,” he said.
The $1.2 billion Domulin gas processing plant which will prevent the flaring of gas from the Jubilee Oilfields is expected to commence this January 2012.
The project would affect communities like Ahobre, Bonyere, Egbazo, Kabenlazuazo, Ndumsuazo and Takinta in the Jomoro District of the Western Region.
“According to Act 125 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana, government has the right to take any land for public interest and based on this compensation is paid after valuation is done,” Deputy Chief Valuer at the Land Valuation Division of the Land Commission, Mrs Theodora Mensah has said.
There is no situation where government has failed to pay compensation for any land it has taken in the interest of the nation, she added.
The gas processing facility to be built by Chinese firm, Sinopec International Petroleum Service is expected to produce about 300 million cubic feet of gas per day to mainly feed the Aboadze and other thermal plants in the Aboadze Power enclave to generate electricity.
Hon. Nweah revealed that, assembly members from Bonyere and its environs were invited to attend a meeting at the Jomoro District Office in Half Assini and were assured that government would ensure that compensation due them would be settled in due time.
A visit to Bonyere reveals that, the road network of Bonyere is being worked on, and the branch road to the town is tarred. And at the site for the construction, though there is no sign of any pipeline, small pillars demarcating the area for the project and cleared coconut and cassava farms are evident. The Bonyere town is also not busy with economic activity, except for two coconut oil cottage industries located at the beach.
“The form ‘X’ which gives the citizens power to sue the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) if compensation is not paid has been completed by the affected citizens, so I don’t foresee government agencies completing this project without compensating the affected people,” Hon. Sylvester Nuamah Dadieh, District Chief Executive of Jomoro said in an interview.
The project when completed has the potential to boost economic activities in the area, he added.
“The people when compensated should invest their compensation in other areas to turn it around and also they should have a vocation to take advantage of the plant,” Hon. Dadie advised.
“A document on proposed alternative livelihood was requested by Ghana Gas Company and we have submitted it,” Hon. Nweah has said. According to him, in the document, it was proposed that, a technical school should be built to train the youth in Bonyere and the affected communities so that they can be employed by the gas company in the future.
On her part, Member of Parliament for Jomoro, Hon. Samia Nkrumah called on all stakeholders to initiate alternative livelihood programmes as a matter of urgency and make sure that all affected people are adequately compensated.
The Chairman of the Bonyere Citizens’ Association, Mr Ackah Moore said, they have also acquired private valuers to valuate the affected areas and they are still working. He however could not tell when they would finish.
“I went to farm one day, only to see that part of my coconut plantation has been cut down. Nobody explained anything to me and up till now nobody has come to tell me anything,” laments Anthony Eboyi a 37-year-old coconut farmer.
According to Eboyi, about 210 of his coconut trees have been cut down. He said he is aware that the site has been earmarked for the construction of a gas plant but wonders why he was not consulted before the trees were brought down.
According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook, updated November 2011, Ghana’s proven natural gas reserve is 22.65 billion cum. The factbook says, out of 209 countries with natural gas, Ghana happens to be the 75th.
Already, Ghana Gas has signed a project implementation agreement with Chinese firm, Sinopec International Petroleum Service Corporation, to construct and inaugurate a 150mmscfd (millions of standard cubit feet per day) gas processing plant and a 36-kilometre shallow water pipeline from the FPSO to the plant as first phase of the project.
The Public Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Energy when contacted were not ready to speak on the issue.
Source Ghana Business News