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06.06.2007 General News

Tsikata Calls For Non-Partisan Approach Towards Solving Energy


Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, former Chief Executive of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), yesterday called for less partisan approach to resolving the energy crisis.
"It will serve us well if the work of corporate bodies is assessed on its merit instead of being politicised or even personalised as happened with GNPC in relation to me," he said. Mr Tsikata said the current energy crisis was a national one that needed the harnessing of all human resources beyond party affiliation.

"At this moment of our energy crisis, human mobilisation from all political parties is crucial towards the adoption of energy conservation methods to resolving the current impasse in the energy sector," he said in Accra at a press briefing in reaction to recent allegations levelled against him by the Minister for Energy, Mr Joseph Adda during his tenure as the Chief Executive of the GNPC.

He said the claim by Mr Adda that the then Finance Minister, Mr Kwame Peprah withdrew the guarantee of Government for the 294 million-dollar loan from the US
Eximbank for the Tano oil and gas fields project was untrue.

"What the minister did, after the matter had been extensively discussed, was to invite me to join him on a trip to Washington to seek a renegotiation with the IMF on the
matter,” Mr Tsikata said. He said it was also not true that the US Eximbank withdrew
the loan facility after they realised that the guarantee had been withdrawn by government.

Mr Tsikata added that the Japanese Government's concessional loan agreement for the Osagyefo barge, transmission lines and two sub-stations was signed in 1995, before the Eximbank loan in 1996.

"The Osagyefo barge power project was initiated with financial support from the Japanese Government and it was linked with the development of the Tano oil and gas fields by the GNPC."

Mr Tsikata said the GNPC's assessment of the Tano project reserves was undertaken in conjunction with reputable companies, including Halliburton and the overall review of all
the thermal generation projects was done by officials from the Volta River Authority
and the GNPC before the loan was signed.

Mr Tsikata said Mr Adda sought to even cast doubt on the viability of the project.
He said if the objective of the availability of gas from Nigeria to the country was to enable lower energy costs to stimulate development, then the manner of indexation of the price of gas to crude oil price gave cause for concern.

"There is a clear urgency about producing our own gas for thermal generation requirements. The call to patronize 'Made-in-Ghana' goods clearly has its relevance here," Mr Tsikata said.