Business News of Saturday, 4 June 2016
The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) plans to develop an “Energy City” to house all major oil companies under one roof, Minister for Petroleum, Emmanuel Kofi Armah Buah has hinted.
“Today as we speak, Tullow, Kosmos and all the multinational oil companies are renting a house at over US$20million a year. Government has studied models around the world and we have decided that it is most cost-effective and good for the people of Ghana for GNPC to be an anchor-tenant to bring all these oil companies to come and pay,” the minister said.
“That is why we are strategically working with GNPC to create an Energy City where all these oil companies that are spending these monies renting will be housed by GNPC,” he said in reaction to concerns that the state-owned oil company is spending too much on office accommodation.
The Energy City plan could hit a snag since Parliament has suspended the 2016 budget for the operations of the corporation.
This comes after the Minority rejected a report by the Mines and Energy Committee over what they describe as inadequate information on allocations in the budget.
The Minority is, among other things, questioning the allocation of GH¢115million for constructing a new head office for the Corporation.
Although the Majority has justified the budget, saying it is meant to well-position the GNPC in the oil and gas industry, the Minority is against it. The minority in Parliament felt it does not make economic sense for such a colossal budget to be approved for office accommodation, and expects proper scrutiny to be conducted before it is approved.
The GNPC has said it wants to become a global player able to take on projects on its own; not just in Ghana but also in other parts of the world.
It therefore sees construction of the GH¢115million head office complex as part of the grand scheme to improve its image and earn it greater respect at home and abroad.