GNPC pledges to support four universities

Dr Baah-Nuakoh

The Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) has pledged to support four universities with one million dollars for the promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics as key ingredients for capacity building.

Each of the four universities would receive US$250,000 annually for the next four years,  is in line with the GNPC’s investment plan, including education and training, environment and social sustainability, and economic empowerment.

The beneficiaries include: The University of Ghana (UG); the University of Cape Coast (UCC); the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST); and the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT).

Dr. Kwame Baah-Nuakoh, the General Manager for Sustainability at the GNPC, made the disclosure at the Sixth Edition of the Ghana Economic Outlook and Business Strategy Conference held in Accra on the theme: ‘‘10 years of Oil and Gas: Challenges and Prospects.’’

The event provided a platform for stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to deliberate on the successes, challenges and prospects of the petroleum industry and to chart the way forward.

Dr. Baah-Nuakoh said the funds would be used to upgrade the science laboratories and other facilities of the selected departments in the four universities.

The Geosciences Department of the University of Ghana, the Petrochemical Engineering of the KNUST and the Mining Engineering Department of the UMaT as well as the Petroleum Commerce Department of the UCC would be upgraded into world class status, he stated.

He pointed out that, parts of the funds would be used for research, upgrading of facilities and offer scholarships to students.

Dr. Baah-Nuakoh said, this year, the GNPC Foundation awarded 880 Ghanaian students with scholarships in 20 universities in the country, which covered their tuition, living expenses, book allowances, and dissertation allowances.

At the secondary school level, 15 second cycle institutions are expected to benefit from the GNPC Foundation’s provision of science laboratories, sanitary facilities and potable water.

He said the GNPC was providing 60 boreholes to 60 communities in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions to resolve the perennial shortage of water in those areas.

He added that, out of the 100 boreholes that would be constructed this year, 60 per cent would go to the north, 20 per cent in the Western Region and 20 per cent in other deprived communities across the country.

On sports development, Dr Baah-Nuakoh said the GNPC would construct five artificial pitches this year, to support the government’s agenda to enhance sporting activities.

He said, the GNPC would support people within its catchment areas by providing market opportunities, access to credit and farm inputs to farmers and fishermen.

The Sustainability General Manager of the GNPC said the Corporation had decided to use its corporate plan in a holistic and integrated approach, which was linked to its business strategy for long-term survival and that would make meaningful impact on the society.

Armech Africa Limited, a subsidiary of the Armech Group, is to construct a $300 million waste-to-energy (W2E) power plant in Tema to generate 60 megawatts of clean energy.

Armech Africa Limited, a designer and manufacturer of modern industrial processes, has therefore signed a Public Private Partnership Agreement with the Electricity Company of Ghana to that effect.

The project will be pre-financed by the Armech Group via Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, a Chinese Multinational Bank, without any Sovereign Guarantee from the Government of Ghana.

It will create over 1,500 direct and indirect jobs and will also increase access to green and renewable electricity and lower environmental hazards as well as exposure to harmful pollution.

The construction will be done by Energy China, one of the largest comprehensive solutions providers for the power sector and infrastructural project in China and the world.

Mr Andrew Quainoo, the Director of Armech Africa, revealed this to the press during a visit by a delegation of the Armech Group, after a two-day working tour of some selected landfill sites within the Greater Accra Region as part of preparations towards the construction of the plant.

He said Armech Africa had, since March, 2015, signed a Waste Feedstock Agreement with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development together with six other metropolitan and municipal assemblies in the Greater Accra Region.

They include Accra and Tema Metropolitan assemblies, Ga South, Ga East and the La-Dade Kotopon Municipal assemblies.

Mr Quainoo said the construction of the plant would significantly enhance environmental sustainability, improve public health, and limit the need for landfill sites, whilst producing the scarce baseload renewable energy.

He said his Company had the capacity to process the anticipated 3,000 metric tonnes of waste generated daily in the Accra Area to generate about 60 megawatts of clean energy through incineration.

“This project will represent the first waste-to-energy project in the Economic Community of West African States and there are plans to develop a second plant in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital”.

Mr Quainoo said an independent study had identified the grave danger to the communities of Greater Accra from toxic leachate, (bio-degraded waste that contains parasites and diseases, which seep from landfills into the water table and the constant emissions from landfill burning.)

He said the spread of malaria, the most common communicable disease, as well as other leading communicable diseases in Accra were associated with poor environmental sanitation.

Mr Quainoo noted that this intervention by Armech would go a long way to addressing the 3.5 million malaria cases recorded every year, with 900,000 of them being recorded amongst children of less than five years of age.

He said Armech planned to invest in 15 specialised drain cleaning tricks worth over one million dollars and materials collected from the drains shall be ultimately transported to the plant as extra feedstock.

Mr Quainoo called on the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, which is now mandated to solve the sanitation menace in the country to expedite action on the way forward as it is currently reviewing the contract signed with the assemblies.

He appealed to them to focus on the critical intervention that Armech was bringing on board to save the lives, property and provide employment for Ghanaians.

The Armech Group has partners including Banker Hughes, Qatar Petroleum, LAFARGE, ACCOR, EXXONMobil, Shell, Chevron, VEOLIA, and the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Defence.