Ghana

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Information about biofuels and bioenergy in Ghana.


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  • Ghana sees first biomass supply chain project, 2 September 2011 by Biomass Power and Thermal: "Africa Renewables Ltd., headquartered in London, is actively recruiting for more than 70 new forestry and biomass production jobs in Ghana to support the country's first wood chip supply chain venture."
    • "The project will harvest redundant rubber trees from the Ghana Rubber Estates Ltd. plantation for chipping and sale to European utilities and energy traders, according to Jamie Wynn-Williams, spokesperson for Africa Renewables."
    • "The project, located between the GREL plantation and the port of Takoradi, will also include the development of a 5 hectare (12 acres) storage depot to house wood chips between monthly shipments, a spare part store and a mechanical workshop."
    • "Africa Renewables will provide the appropriate training required for the operation of forestry equipment, with new jobs at every level of the project logistics chain from initial felling of trees to harvesting, processing and eventual delivery of biomass to cargo ships for export."[1]
  • Development Agencies Support Harmful Oil Palm Production, 9 May 2011 by IPS: "Increasing industrial production of oil palm in sub-Saharan African countries, carried out by foreign corporations, is destroying the livelihoods of thousands of Africans and the biodiversity of ecosystems."
    • "African countries most affected are Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana. But palm oil fields and industrial facilities are located in at least the half of sub-Saharan African countries."
    • "In the vast majority of cases, the industrial production of oil palm is in the hands of foreign corporations, such as the French Bolloré group, the Brazilian petroleum group Petrobras, the Italian company ENI and the Singapore-based Wilmar International."
    • "The industrial system of oil palm production in Africa 'is based on monoculture plantations where the land only produces palm fruits for industry,' according to Ricardo Carrere, an expert in forest management at the World Rainforest Movement (WRM)."
    • "'In most if not all cases, land is taken away from local communities with little or no compensation, and bio-diverse ecosystems, mostly forests, are destroyed and substituted by large areas of palm monocultures,' says Carrere."
    • "Carrere raises alarm about the 'crucial role' of national, regional and multilateral institutions in the promotion and development of foreign investments in the industrialisation of palm oil production in sub-Saharan Africa."[2]
  • Palm oil giants target Africa in 'land grab' following Indonesia deforestation ban, 25 March 2011 by The Ecologist: "The world's largest palm oil producer Indonesia is due to implement a two-year ban on granting new concessions of land to plantation companies in forest areas."
    • "There are also restrictions on the availability of land in Malaysia. This has led companies like Sime Darby, which has more than half a million hectares of palm oil in Indonesia and Malaysia, to look elsewhere."
    • "Sime Darby - reported to be the largest palm oil producer in the world - has leased 220,000 hectares of land in Liberia and is considering buying a further 300,000 hectares for palm oil plantations in Cameroon."
    • "Other rival palm oil giants like Sinar Mar, Olam International and Wilmar International are also tying up land deals in Liberia, Gabon and Ghana."
    • "In Cameroon, campaigners have admitted to having strong reservations about Sime Darby's plans to lease land for palm oil plantations. Samuel Nguiffo, from the Centre for Environment and Development (CED), says even if they only develop on degraded forest, the deal is likely to involve farmland being taken away from local communities."
    • "Nguiffo believes the land has more value in terms of sustaining local livelihood but says the government will push hard for a deal, regardless of the long-term consequences for the country's food security."[3]
  • Indian bio-fuel project to generate 25,000 jobs in Ghana, 8 March 2011 by Sify.com: "An Indian company has launched a clean energy project in Ghana that will help power over 100,000 homes and generate over 25,000 jobs in the west African country."
    • "Abellon CleanEnergy Limited intends to produce solid bio-fuels for export as well as set up energy plantations, says Pragnesh Mishra, the company's representative in Ghana."
    • "Officials of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Accra said the project was an initiative of the Business Call to Action (BCtA), a worldwide initiative to support the private sector in its efforts to fight poverty."
    • "But as Abellon prepares to take off, it looks like the company would have to contend with complaints by ActionAid Ghana that biofuel companies were grabbing lands from farmers all over the country."[4]
  • Land grabbing for biofuels hits Ghana, other African countries – Report, 30 August 2010 by Emmanuel K. Dogbevi: "There appears to be a gradual but ominous attempt to turn Africa into the production centre of some selected food crops and non-food crops for the production of biofuels to feed industry and vehicles in Europe."
    • "According to [a recent report by the environmental group, Friends of the Earth International], a third of the land sold or acquired in Africa, some five million hectares is intended for fuel crops."
    • "The report profiles land-grab cases that have happened in 11 African countries, most of which is being used or intended to be used to grow biofuel crops like Jatropha and palm oil."
    • "The report indicated further that concerns about energy supply appear to be a key driver behind the demand for agrofuel crops – with the EU aiming for 10% of transport fuel to come from “renewable” sources by 2010. These EU targets have established a clear market – which given land prices and the lack of available land within the EU will inevitably be met by imports."[5]
  • Why Ghana is attracting investments in biofuels, 31 January 2009 by Ghana Business News: "Ghana has become a major centre of attraction for the cultivation of biofuels in Africa for a number of reasons," including agricultural productivity, political stability and labor costs.
    • "Currently, the country features prominently on the radar of alternative energy interests, especially in the cultivation of the non-food plant jatropha for the production of biofuels."
    • "[C]ompanies from Brazil, Italy, Norway, Israel, China, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and India" have invested in projects in "the Volta, Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Eastern and the Northern regions of Ghana," mainly for jatropha.
    • "While its supporters argue that [jatropha] can be grown on semi-arid land and so poses less of a threat to food output than other biofuel feedstocks such as grains and vegetable oils, its opponents argue that investors are taking away productive agriculture land from poor local farmers for the purpose."
    • "Currently, there is an ongoing debate, accusations and counter-accusations of land grabbing between NGOs, Action Aid and FoodSPAN on one hand and Rural Consult, a consultancy firm on biofuels on the other."[6]

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