The Board Chairman of the Ghana National Gas Company, Dr Kwesi Botchway, has downplayed fears that SINOPEC, lead engineers for the Ghana Gas project, will not execute the gas project on time because they are Chinese.
The Sinopec Group is listed as 5th on the Global Fortune 500 companies list, with an annual turnover of $288.9 billion. SINOPEC has commenced work on delivering a functioning gas processing plant linked to the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah on the Jubilee Field.
This implies that per their mandate, they can release some portions of the gas project to local companies.
But it seems some players are doubtful about the competence of the group to delivering Ghana’s gas plant, however, Dr Botchway said the engineers are competent enough.
“As a company, we’ve not been in the business of awarding any contracts, we have no hands in selecting who is going to lay the pipe, who is building the pipes and all that,” he said.
“We signed an engineering procurement construction and commissioning contract with SINOPEC who are a world class company and I know there are many prejudices against Chinese firms, especially from people who frankly don’t quite know the China they are talking about. It’s a world class company who has laid thousands of pipe lines the world over. And importantly we insisted that we want world class facilities, they were particularly sensitive about the perception that people have of them,” Dr Botchway stated.
“So even in areas where they have the capacity to manufacture the things themselves, they said look we will get you international companies to do it, so the gas processing facility which they could have manufactured themselves is being done by a Canadian company.”
Dr. Botchway also called on stakeholders to make use of local expertise before falling on foreign experts.
“We must learn to use our national capacity before we fall on others, where we don’t have the expertise, we have no problem admitting it and sourcing it and paying for it.”
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