The World Bank Group said on Thursday that two of its units would provide another $517m to Ghana in debt and guarantees to support the $7.7bn Sankofa oil and gas project developed by Italy's ENI SpA and upstream trader Vitol Ghana.
The financing adds to a $700m World Bank guarantee package announced in July and brings the institution's total financing to around $1.217bn for the offshore project, whose gas component is set to open in 2018, a statement said.
The bank's commercial lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has committed a loan of $235m to Vitol Ghana and is arranging another $65m in debt.
Guarantees by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, another bank institution, will support Vitol Ghana's commercial borrowing needs for the project and will be issued for up to 15 years. The new pledges bring the World Bank Group's financing share of the Sankofa project to about 16%.
"Sankofa is expected to generate $2.3bn in revenues for Ghana's government per year and provide a stable, long-term source of domestic gas that will solve Ghana's chronic gas supply constraints," an IFC statement said.
ENI holds a 44.4% stake in Sankofa, Vitol holds 35.6% and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation holds a combined carried and participating interest of 20%.
Ghana first began pumping oil in 2010 at the offshore Jubilee field operated by Tullow Oil Plc, a British company that this August opened a second field called TEN.
Sankofa is expected to generate about 1,000 megawatts of power for Ghana and, combined with gas from two other new fields, could eliminate the need for Ghana to import gas from Nigeria through the West African Gas Pipeline Co.