Successful oil and gas developments have helped push Ghana’s economy forward, and such continued development could provide even more opportunity for growth. According to UNICEF, Ghana is on the path toward cutting its poverty level in half and reaching 80% coverage for safe drinking water by 2015 as part of its Millennium Development Goal target. Although the economic progress and healthcare services have helped push down the child mortality rate, malnutrition among children is still an issue.

The organization said that one in 12 Ghanaian children under age 5 dies from largely preventable childhood diseases, and malnutrition contributes to 40% of childhood deaths—showing there is still work to be done. That is why initiatives like Project Peanut Butter (PPB) and partnerships formed remain important.

Compressed Gas Technologies opted not to make a profit, instead providing another nitrogen generation system at cost for use at PPB’s third ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) production facility in Ghana, which is set to become fully operational this spring, according to a news release. The company, which provides membrane and PSA nitrogen generators, also has provided at cost a nitrogen generation system for the organization’s Sierra Leone facility.

“RUTF is a peanut-based product fortified with essential vitamins clinically tested to treat severe acute malnutrition (SAM). SAM affects some 20 million children and is the leading killer of children under the age of 5 worldwide,” according to the news release about the partnership. “Since 2004, PPB has successfully treated hundreds of thousands of children suffering from severe malnutrition through its existing facilities in Malawi and Sierra Leone.”

The organization, which distributes RUTF though its clinics and provides products to other organizations such as UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders, estimates its new site will eventually treat 18,000 severely malnourished children in Ghana annually. As explained in the news release, nitrogen is used to displace oxygen in packaged foods, making the food less susceptible to spoilage, thereby extending its shelf life.

“Nitrogen is typically either purchased from a gas supply company or produced by the user on site. The use of a nitrogen generator, a device which separates naturally present nitrogen gas from a supply of compressed air, is critical in areas where a supply of the gas is not easily obtained,” the release said. Martin Histand, project manager for the project, said it would be difficult to get delivered nitrogen in Ghana.

Given the tough times that the energy industry is experiencing, it is good to see a company forgoing profit for a good cause. It’s important to note, however, that Compressed Gas Technologies serves a wide range of industries, which include EOR, gas seals, bottling wine and beer dispensing, aircraft, food packaging, pipeline and vessel purging, medical industry tools and others, according to its website.

Nonetheless, its willingness to save the organization some money should be commended.

“It's so helpful when we find someone interested in our work and willing to help us out," Histand said. “The money we saved goes directly back in to other projects, feeding severely malnourished children."

Contact the author, Velda Addison, at