Utilities of Ghana
Creating an ‘energy economy’ continues to be a key area of interest for potential PPPs seeking to support Ghana’s rapid industrialisation through generation, transmission and distribution faculties and to raise the GDP to $1,000 per capita. The government has stated its intention to ‘create an enabling environment for public–private partnership in the energy sector’. PPP pipeline energy projects include the IPP Thermal Plant, construction of three new refineries, the commercialisation of gas and the expansion of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Ghana’s sole crude processor. TOR has routinely suffered from inefficiency due to faulty equipment and diminished credit, in a time of rising demand for fuel. With the discovery of offshore oil in 2007, the country’s domestic oil refining capacity will more than triple. The state holds a 15 per cent stake in the new offshore refineries of the fields in the Deepwater Tano contract area, the biggest contract of which has been awarded to Technip with a value of $1.23 billion. The power generation capacity of Ghana will also escalate to a capacity of 4,000 MW through investment of public–private partnerships in new power plants.
Ghana’s highly liberalised telecommunications industry is one of its major economic sectors, according to the World Bank. Providers are largely private sector owned and include MTN, Vodafone Ghana, Tigo, Western Telesystems (Westel), Expresso Telecom and Glo Mobile Ghana. The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) is a government agency that works to redress imbalances in the distribution of telecoms across the country through investments in rural or underserved areas, often in 70:30 partnerships with private providers. GIFEC aims to facilitate an ICT-literate population and rising economic prosperity. Other related public–private partnerships include aspects of Ghana’s e-Government Project, which delivers electronic systems for business registration and tax administration at the Registrar General’s Department, and other revenue agencies through a PPP with the public body Ghana Community Network Services.