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22.11.2002 General News

"Gas Straight to Your Homes" - Industrialist

By Accra Mail
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Residents in Accra and other urban areas would soon be receiving natural gas directly in their homes through gas pipelines.

The Chief Executive Officer of Noble Legacy Ltd, Mr. Noble-Wright Opoku whose company would be operating such services spoke to ADM last week. His company is also planning to engage in helicopter shuttle service, tram (rail transportation) services as well as real estate development.

How would you distribute gas to the homes?

We would buy large quantities of natural gas from the West African Gas Pipeline Project (WAGP) and then construct pipelines from our central processing facility direct to consumers uninterrupted.

We are going to have prepaid meters. It is more beneficial than the bottle (cylinder) gas because with the central gas you can decide to use any amount you want.

There is going to be computerised monitoring and safety devices that would stop the gas from flowing when there is any critical weather change as we have in electric transformers.

Won't inadequate planning in the city affect the project?

Before we commence the underground gas pipeline project we would most certainly liase with the Town and Country Planning Department and AMA for the topography of the city to know how to lay our lines properly. This is also to ensure that in the future if there is going to be any major development it would not affect our lines.

Would you begin when the WAGP commences?

First of all we are going to embark on the construction and installation of the gas pipeline from Tema to four selected regions known to be using gas for domestic and industrial purposes. For the interim, customers to our network would be served from our large replenishable gas processing facility until the formal commissioning of the WAGP in 2005. By March next year we would begin with the gas project.

How efficient or cost effective would it be to consumers?

It would save consumers much time. Instead of carrying your cylinder to the LPG station to refill, this would be delivered right into your kitchen. You can regulate the amount that you want to use because of the prepaid meter.

Helicopter shuttle service

It is to help in crime prevention, disaster management, to convey foodstuff from the remotest areas to the urban places, to help the mining sector to carry valuable material and be of service to the tourism sector as well. The Ministry of Transport and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) have been very helpful in this regard.

We need assistance and support from the government. We are going to rely mostly on gas engines for the helicopters because it is less expensive and efficient.We are going to liase with the police to patrol crime prone areas with helicopters and also assist the Ghana Navy where necessary. These services to the police and the navy would be free - only payment would be for aviation fuel. We would need about ten helicopters but would probably start with three.

Do you have funds to acquire aircraft?

Absolutely. Our sister company in the US, Noble Energy is prepared to finance it and Strategic Research Institute (SRI), which comprises investors could also provide funds. So finance is not a problem, all we need is for the government to give us the support.

Rail transportation system

I am happy the government has introduced the mass transportation system with the re-introduction of the bus service, but that is not enough to address the transportation problem in the city. The tram service would be made up of railway lines from Accra-Tema, Accra-Nsawam, Accra-Winneba and then Accra-Ayi Mensah. Coaches would be available at the designated places every five or ten minutes as pertains in other countries. It would be operational in the next two years.

Real estate development

Tertiary institutions and the security agencies lack building accommodation. We have decided to build 100 units of six-storey buildings including a library in each tertiary institution in the country. Also we would build barracks for the police service. We would then give them fifteen years to pay for the buildings

This is expected to commence in the next one year when approval is given by the university authorities. Our principals would be arriving by January next year to meet the authorities.

Appeal

I would like to call on diplomatic missions to support us. The Egyptian Embassy has been very helpful. We also need support from the government because without it we cannot do anything. I also welcome ideas from any quarters.

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