Connect with us

People & Lifestyle

Meet the woman who wants to build Ghana's biggest solar farm

Published

on

It’s awesome Friday, and a good time to share a great story! According to Forbes, for more than a decade, 48-year-old entrepreneur Salma Okonkwo,has been quietly building up a multimillion-dollar oil and gas outfit in Ghana called UBI Group She’s now expanding her reach across Ghana’s energy industry, working on an independent side project that may become the biggest in her career. Okonkwo is building Ghana’s biggest solar farm, called Blue Power Energy, slated to open in March 2019 with 100 megawatts of energy. It would be one of the largest in Africa. https://ameyawdebrah.com/vivo-energy-rolls-comprehensive-recycling-programme-basic-schools/ Salma grew up in Accra, one of 14 children born to a real estate agent and developer mother and a cattle dealer father. After graduating from an all-girls boarding school with little running water, Okonkwo moved to Los Angeles for college at Loyola Marymount University. She graduated in 1994 and briefly worked in California for a food brokerage company. Then oil and gas company Sahara Energy Group recruited her; Okonkwo returned to Accra in 2003 for the job. https://ameyawdebrah.com/ghanaian-emmanuel-mensah-dies-saving-lives-bronx-inferno/

After observing a lack in adequate storage facilities in Northern Ghana (where her father comes from), Okonkwo pivoted and started trading diesel and petroleum wholesale. A contract to supply fuel to Dallas-based Kosmos Energy came in 2007, followed by one with Hess in 2008. In the early days, she financed the operation by mortgaging some properties that her family and husband had inherited.
By 2008, UBI opened its first retail gas station. It soon owned 8 outright and managed another 20 through partnerships. That caught the eye of Singapore-based multinational firm Puma Energy, which had 2017 sales of $15 billion from operations in 49 countries. Puma acquired a 49% stake in two of UBI Group’s subsidiaries (retail gas stations and wholesale fuel distribution) in 2013 for about $150 million. After the partial acquisition in 2013, Okonkwo says, she started developing her solar company. She estimates the company will spend about $100 million—financed by roughly $30 million in loans—to create 100 megawatts of solar power by early next year. Construction started earlier this summer. The plan is to add another 100 megawatts by the end of 2020. “Most of the multinational companies that come to Ghana don’t put in infrastructure. They operate a system where they invest very little and they take it away. They sell their products and leave,” Okonkwo says. “I’m hoping to provide employment and add to Ghana’s economy,” she told Forbes READ more on FORBES
]]>

Advertisement