Ghana’s state-owned oil company is progressing with plans to sell liquefied natural gas throughout West Africa after shipments of the fuel begin to flow to an import terminal this year.

Tema LNG Terminal Co. is expected to start commercial operations at the plant in the second quarter and can help create an energy hub for the region, Hamis Ussif, manager for gas at Ghana National Petroleum Corp. said in an interview in the capital, Accra. GNPC will buy the LNG from Tema and sell it onward.

Some West African nations are embracing the use of natural gas as part of an effort to bring electricity to more people who live there. While the use of fossil fuels is criticized for contributing to climate change, local producers have argued that the continent only accounts for 3% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

GNPC is working with partners interested in building infrastructure to sell LNG to domestic users and those within the sub-region looking to boost power, Ussif said. “The options available include a mix of pipelines, barges and trucks where feasible to reduce the cost of transporting to our neighbors.”

There’s already been a request from Benin, a nearby nation, to increase gas supply, Ussif said.

Ghana has a 17-year contract for 225 million standard cubic feet a day of gas from the Tema terminal, which is backed by Helios Investment Partners and African Infrastructure Investment Managers, with LNG supplied by Royal Dutch Shell Plc.