Interview: Ama Nketiah, Regional Manager, Knight Piésold Ghana

Interview: Ama Nketiah, Regional Manager, Knight Piésold Ghana

Publication: Global Business Reports
Issue: September 29, 2020

Could you elaborate on the areas of expertise that KP brings in the region?

Knight Piésold is an employee-owned consulting firm that provides specialized geotechnical and environmental consultancy services to the mining, power, water resources, infrastructure, and oil and gas industries. We are engineers, environmental scientists, geoscientists and technologists who focus on creating value at every stage of a project through quality driven, sustainable and cost-effective solutions.

How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted KP’s services, and what are your clients most concerned about?

We saw a slowdown in our field-based assignments, however, our design office remained active with clients still requiring solutions. Our clients were cautious in admitting people to their sites due to the possibility of an outbreak shutting down their operations and that was perfectly understandable. We tried to support them in our best capacity remotely. Also, the logistical nightmare of getting people to site delayed the commencement of certain projects. Unfortunately, this is likely to continue until the perceived risk subsides.

What are the key aspects that help KP differentiate itself in a competitive market?

Our ability to effectively utilize local knowledge in executing our projects makes us quite competitive in terms of value for money and we strive to foster close connections with our clients to understand their unique requirements. Our global network of offices/experts also assist us in delivering industry-standard solutions to our clients.

Many of the near-end developers decide to rely on their own, on-site power solutions to supply small mines. Are these measures a response to power shortages in Ghana?

Electricity generation used to be an issue a few years ago, however, this has been managed by allowing private sector participation through independent power producers. Utility costs coupled with the effects of changing sociopolitical climate on the sector have made a few mining companies opt for individual power supply systems to enable them to have better control over their operations. Also, the remote locations of some operations have encouraged clients to consider renewable energy sources such as solar and wind to augment their energy demands. Our environmental team supports such clients by conducting environmental and social impact assessment studies as part of the project permit requirements.  

How does the introduction of the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management launched in August 2020 impact KP’s clients?

The Global Industry Standards on Tailings Management is a game changer for the industry as it seeks to prioritize zero harm to people and the environment in tailings management. This has been necessitated by recent dam failures. Initial impressions are that most clients are welcoming to the spirit of the standard and Knight Piésold as a leading consultant is poised to journeying with them on the roadmap to compliance.

Do you have a final message for our audience?

The mining sector in Ghana and the West African subregion is seeing a boost in activity. This is mainly due to the rising gold price which has encouraged exploration and commissioning of capital projects. The sociopolitical climate is also conducive towards investments in the sector and Knight Piésold has the technical knowledge base and local experience to support our mining clients in executing their projects.

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