Ivorian firm shows interest in Ghana Gas

CKG, an Ivorian company, has expressed interest in investing about US$500million into the operations of the Ghana National Gas Company through a partnership deal.

The Chairman of CKG Holdings Group, Charles Kader Goore, said his firm -- which has over the past three years been seeking a financing facility toward the Ghana Gas project -- is closing in on a deal that will give it a chance to participate in the country’s energy sector.

“We want to give the best service to African people. We want to give the best service to our area. The project is about US$500million, the pipeline project. We are working now with a partner. We started three years ago, and now we have a partner and we are ready to go ahead,” he said.

Ghana Gas Company, a wholly-owned state institution, has been established to oversee the commercial production of gas from the Jubilee oil-field. Its current principal project is the development of the Atuabo gas plant, which is being funded with a loan from the Chinese government.

The inability of the Ghana Gas Company to make ready the gas processing plant is seriously impeding work at the Jubilee Field, with operators having to re-inject the gas into reservoirs.

The construction of the gas facility at Atuabo has suffered many setbacks; and though the Ghana Gas Company says the facility will be ready by third quarter, there are strong indications that the project will not be completed this year.

When contacted, the Communication Manager of Ghana National Gas Company, Alfred Ogbamey, said that the state-owned gas company is aware of CKG Group but has not had a formal approach from an Ivorian firm whose interest in the operations of Ghana Gas signals viability and confidence in the projects of the company.

“Ghana Gas is aware of CKG Group, but has not had a formal offer of partnership from them. We are excited and welcome their interest. Their interest is proof of confidence, viability and investor interest in the company,” he said.

Mr. Ogbamey said any interest from the Ivorian Group will be tabled for consideration by the board and shareholders, saying: “If we are approached, management will put forward the offer to the board, which will in turn take it to the shareholders to make a decision on it.”

Mr. Goore said CKG Group’s principal interest in Ghana lies in the energy sector, where it sees opportunity for critical investment. Last week, CKG Group invited some Polish investors into the country to assess investment opportunities.

He said Ghana’s political and economic stability makes the country ideal for investment, attracting the interest of foreign investors.

“I have confidence in the Ghanaian economy. I have told my foreign partners that Ghana is a good destination. Investment is not about money; that is no problem. The problem is the political and economic stability, and Ghana has it.

“Ghana is a good destination for West-Africans, and its location -- which can easily be reached from around the region -- positions the country well for foreign investment,” he said.

CKG Group, which has been in existence for the past 21 years, has subsidiaries in shipping, logistics, manufacturing, agriculture, travel and tourism. It also has interest in several blue-chip firms including Yara International and Barry Callebaut.

He said the company’s successful operations have been achieved through partnership deals, a model he hopes will help the company to expand its footprint in Africa.

“African companies have a capacity to build and assist our countries to grow. We must create more industries in our countries,” Mr. Goore added.

source: Business and Financial Times

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