As country receives only $200 million of $3 billion China loan
The Ghana government has said it received only $200 million out of the total $3 billion China Development Bank (CDB) loan that it applied for.
At a budget review workshop with the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) in Accra Friday March 8, 2013, Mr. Kwabena Oku Afari, Chief Economic Officer at the Finance Ministry lamented over Ghana’s inability to get all the amount the government had applied for.
According to Mr. Afari, Ghana’s inability to secure the full loan amount is due to technical reasons. There are processes or conditions precedent to the release of the full loan amount and we are still working on them, he added.
The Master Facility Agreement (MFA) on the $3 billion between the China Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Ghana (GoG) was signed in the Peoples’ Republic of China December 16, 2011, following the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Board’s approval on December 14, 2011 for increasing Ghana’s commercial borrowing ceiling for 2011 from $800 million to $34 million. The MFA was signed by Ghana’s Ambassador to China with a Power of Attorney from the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
Parliament had early on in August 2011 received the MFA first Subsidiary Agreement covering the Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure Project with access roads and bridges upgrades and ICT enabled Surveillance Project.
The $1.2 billion gas processing plant which will prevent the flaring of gas from the Jubilee oil fields was expected to be pre-financed by the Chinese firm Sinopec International Petroleum Service Corporation.
Ghana Gas signed a project implementation agreement with Sinopec, to construct and inaugurate a 150 mmscfd (millions of standard cubit feet per day) gas processing plant and a 36-kilometre shallow water pipeline from the FPSO to the plant as the first phase of the project.
But the project which was expected to commence in January 2012 and completed in December the same year did not start until about mid 2012 due to the back and forth movementof where to locate it, which has been blamed purely ontechnical and geodetic reasons, an official of Ghana National Gas Company(GNGC) has said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GNGC, Dr. George Sipa-Adjah Yankey expressed optimism about meeting the timelines for the completion even though rains caused few days of construction to be lost.
However, presenting the 2013 budget to Parliament March 5, 2013 Minister of Finance, Mr. Seth Terkper said, “the Ghana Gas infrastructure project is to be completed in the third quarter of 2013.”
Mr Afari is of the opinion that all things being equal, Ghana is likely to receive the rest of the CDB loan first tranche of $1.5 billion this year.
By Pascal Kelvin Kudiabor