India has sought a greater role in Ghana’s energy sector, pitching for more tie-ups between ONGC Videsh (OVL), the overseas exploratory and acquisition arm of the state-run upstream major, and oil companies of the African nation.
Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma, who visited Ghana as part of India’s “Focus Africa” policy, discussed this in his talks with Ghanaian President John Evans Atta Mills and ministers.
Mr Sharma also asked the Ghanaian leadership to ensure gas supply for a 1.15 million tonne per annum ammonia-urea fertiliser plant in India, which is being built at a cost of $1 billion. The project is expected to be completed by 2014.
He also raised the availability of land, potable water, infrastructural development for the project, according to the commerce ministry.
Officials from ONGC, OVL and GAIL held discussions with Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to pursue joint exploration of the oil and gas finds in the country.
It was only in 2007 that Ghana first discovered it could commercially exploit its oil and natural gas resources commercially. Since then subsequent discoveries have put the estimated total oil potential at 1.6 billion barrels.
During a meeting, Ghanaian finance minister Kwabena Duffuor sought India’s support for transfer of technology and building local capacity, especially in the down-stream and up-stream oil economy, apart from the IT sector. GNPC is also in talks with Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers.
Mr Sharma assured the Ghanaian government that he would look at granting a concessional line of credit for bridging infrastructural gaps in the Ghana Free Zones Area and for development of an integrated trade centre.
Ghana is one of the highest recipients of the Lines of Credit from India. India is engaged in executing seven projects worth $193 million in the country. Mr Sharma also promised to expedite an agreement between Ghana Heavy Equipment and Bharat Earth Movers for supplying earth moving equipment by the end of the year.
India has agreed to Ghana’s trade and industry minister Hannah Tetteh’s request for training support through Indian institutions such as the Petroleum Research Institute and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.
Mr Sharma led a Confederation of Indian Industry-delegation to Ghana covering oil and gas, energy, pharmaceutical, fertiliser, electrical equipment, banking and consultancy.