March 29 (UPI) -- French engineering company TechnipFMC said it secured a contract to help develop the Sankofa natural gas field offshore Ghana, a field backed by the World Bank.
The company secured a contract from a subsidiary of Italian energy company ENI and Dutch trader Vitol to help support onshore facilities tied to the offshore Sankofa natural gas field. The project, scheduled for completion next year, is meant to support a shift in Ghana away from oil to cleaner and more affordable gas resources.
"We are proud to have been awarded this new contract, which rewards TechnipFMC's long-term commitment in Africa and plays a strategic role in the gas-to-power program in Ghana," Nello Uccelletti, the president of the company's onshore and offshore business segment, said in a statement.
The project is supported by a $700 million loan commitment from the World Bank. Once in service, it will account for about 40 percent of Ghana's installed power generation capacity.
Once Sankofa is up and running, it will cut Ghana's oil imports by 12 million barrels per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions considerably over the next five years.
ENI and Vitol joined Ghanaian leaders in 2015 to start development activities. Sankofa is listed as a "top priority" project by the World Bank and the companies involved estimate it will help satisfy some of Ghana's energy needs until at least 2036.
The International Monetary Fund has described the country's fiscal deficit as higher than expected because of "poor oil and non-oil revenue performance and large expenditure overruns."
The country's expanding oil and gas prospects are expected to spur economic growth, however. British energy company Tullow Oil is working to develop the Jubilee field off the Ghanaian cost. Considered one of the larger fields in the region, the company expects to produce about 80,300 barrels of oil per day on average once in full swing.