FILE PHOTO: A worker works on a liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker at a port of the China National Offshore Oil Co (CNOOC) in Tianjin, China November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CHINA OUT.
Rather trhan exporting gas, Ghana will use it for creating electricity at home. Reuters

Ghana benefits from making gas deposits bankable



New gas discoveries are commonplace across Africa these days but monetising the resource is difficult – which is why some countries are now using it for local electricity, rather than seeking to export it.

This is a practical way to make gas deposits bankable, while also helping to close the energy deficit that most countries on the continent experience.

Victor Mallet, sales director for US based APR Energy says small, quick to install gas plants are increasingly being deployed to countries that have plenty of gas but are starved for electricity.

“One example of gas’ potential in Africa is in Ghana, where the country’s massive Sankofa development is expected to start production this year," Mr Mallet says. It will provide around 2,000 megawatts of generation capacity to Ghana’s power grid, enough for around 20,000 homes.

The plants deployed can be set up in a matter of weeks, a big advantage over conventional power plants that can take years to construct. Instead, gas plants are up and running in under 90 days for the most part.

The speed at which these plants are installed is especially useful for countries that struggle to raise the large sums of capital needed over the years of building a conventional coal, hydro or even nuclear power station.

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“In countries where construction of permanent generation is delayed due to lack of funding, such as Rwanda, bridging power provided by mobile fast-track power generation can stimulate immediate economic growth, contributing to the country’s GDP and creating revenue to invest in long-term power solutions,” Mr Mallet says.

Part of the success of this strategy is that it depends on simple technology that is shipped in containers that are slotted into place, similar to Lego blocks. In APR's case, jet-engine-like turbines are hooked up to the gas network and can be fired up almost instantly.

Aggreko, a Scotland-based company uses reciprocating engines that can run on diesel or gas. In 2015 the company set up a 110Mw plant in Southern Mozambique in five months. A fleet of gas-fired generators was connected to a nearby pipeline that ran between Mozambique's offshore gas fields across to South Africa.

A report published by Ernst & Young Global Limited notes that gas consumption in Africa has been increasing at a rate of about six per cent a year over the past two decades. Traditionally North Africa was the continent's source of oil and gas, but discoveries south of the Sahara have changed the picture substantially.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Rwanda and Sudan have emerged as viable LNG producers. The report, Natural Gas in Africa, also notes that oil’s dominance in West Africa is gradually giving way to gas, while East Africa’s gas sector has progressed from virtually non-existent to the so-called “next epicenter” for gas production in just 10 years.

DUBAI BLING: EPISODE 1

Creator: Netflix

Stars: Kris Fade, Ebraheem Al Samadi, Zeina Khoury

Rating: 2/5

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
- The Royal Diriyah Opera House is expected to be completed in four years
- Diriyah’s first of 42 hotels, the Bab Samhan hotel, will open in the first quarter of 2024
- On completion in 2030, the Diriyah project is forecast to accommodate more than 100,000 people
- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
- It will create more than 178,000 jobs and aims to attract more than 50 million visits a year
- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Gully Boy

Director: Zoya Akhtar
Producer: Excel Entertainment & Tiger Baby
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Kalki Koechlin, Siddhant Chaturvedi​​​​​​​
Rating: 4/5 stars

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888