Some staff of Genser Energy on the field. Picture: BISMARK ARYEE
Some staff of Genser Energy on the field. Picture: BISMARK ARYEE

Harris trip offers opportunity for Ghana, America — Genser

The US Vice-President Kamala Harris’ three-nation African tour this week has been hailed by many, including American and Ghanaian businesses, as boding well for the individual countries and the African continent as a whole.

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The Daily Graphic’s Regional Page Editor, Edmund Smith-Asante (ESA), interviewed one of such companies – Genser (GEN), an American energy company headquartered in Ghana and publishes excerpts. 

Edmund Smith-Asante (ESA): What does the US Vice-President Kamala Harris’s visit mean to your company?

Genser (GEN): Genser is a success story that encapsulates the best of US-Ghana partnership. It is a private sector enterprise from Ghana, focused on serving Ghanaians, run by Ghanaians, but headquartered in the US, and able to leverage the best of American industry practices and know-how in its operations. 

These are the types of successes we hope the Vice President can accelerate through her trip and her engagements with the public and private sectors of African countries. 

There is so much potential on this continent — potential for our self-development, but also for jobs creation and growth opportunities for American partners.

ESA: How do you suggest the Vice-President does that? 

GEN: The Veep’s trip should underscore that Africa is looking for trade, not aid from the United States. Africa has the capacities and the know how to drive growth and development for the continent. American investment and partnership will not only accelerate our efforts but, also, create jobs and growth in the US. Together, we need to look for more ways to foster U.S.-African investments and partnerships that will allow us both to thrive.

ESA:  I think we need to know a little about Genser, how it came to be established in Ghana/Africa, what particular benefits have accrued to the company and Ghana

GEN: Genser Energy was founded 15 years ago – it all started in a warehouse in Tema with a handful of people with the vision of providing sustainable energy solutions in Africa, emphasising the training and development of local expertise and using appropriate technologies in a safe, efficient and reliable manner. Fifteen years on, we are proud to say that we have delivered, and continue to be committed to our vision. 

Some staff of Genser Energy at work. Picture: BISMARK ARYEE

To date, Genser has established itself as the leading embedded power generation producer in Ghana and the largest owner of natural gas pipelines with just under 200MW of installed capacity and a pipeline network of over 320km. 

We currently have 260 full-time employees and over 85 per cent are Ghanaians. All of Genser Energy’s employees have various qualifications including Diplomas, Higher National Diplomas, undergraduate and post graduate degrees, reflecting a highly skilled workforce. 

We put a lot of emphasis on the training and we have a well-developed graduate recruitment programme in place. We take graduates from Ghana’s technical universities through an 18-month rotation before placing them in specific roles. 38 graduates joined the scheme in 2022/23. 

Sustainability has always been at the core of our operations.  Genser Energy’s long-term strategy is to become a leading sustainable energy solutions provider throughout Africa. Genser Energy complies with the Equator Principles and World Bank IFC Performance Standards and has also developed a Zero Carbon Strategy based on transitioning to renewable energy by 2035 using natural gas as a transition pathway. 

Our external financing has meant that Genser has been able to invest these resources in Ghana, and as such, we are following our roadmap to decarbonise by 2035. Genser Energy will also be financing its contribution to the national climate strategy which will support the government in its goals, placing less stress on the national balance sheet.

ESA:  How do you think the gains can be multiplied? 

GEN: As we have been able to provide industry with cheaper and more reliable power it has given the opportunity for industries to expand, and also for other industries to be revived in the Ghanaian market. As demand increases, Genser has been able to reinvest in our assets, but also seeks new investment opportunities, allowing us to have a stronger impact on the market and the economy. 

Genser also offers opportunity to females. Picture: NIPAH DENNIS

ESA:  What can other investors in America take from your experience in Ghana? 

GEN: Ghana is great to do business with as it is blessed with a talented and educated work force, political stability and has tremendous development potential. 

ESA:  Has your company taken advantage of AGOA as yet? How has it helped? 

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GEN: To date, Genser has not participated in AGOA – however, as an active member of AmCham in Ghana and the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC, we continue to study how to best work with AGOA and other funding programmes.

ESA:  What future plans does Genser have in terms of expansion and improvement of what it already does. 

GEN: In addition to our current operating assets, Genser has some really exciting large scale projects currently ongoing. Following the $425 million of financing raised in July 2022 – we are well underway with meeting our commitments, as it relates to the expansion of our pipeline network of 110km up to Kumasi, the gas condition plant (GCP) in Prestea and the natural gas liquid (NGL) storage terminal at the Takoradi Port. 

As these projects are underway, Genser is already looking at the next phases of our decarbonisation strategy, and taking the necessary steps to further these expansion plans. More announcements are expected to be released in due course.

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