Ghana laments poor supply from W/A gas pipeline

Ghana has continued tom lament a below average performance by the West African Gas Pipeline, describing natural gas supplies from Nigeria as erratic so far this year.

Ghana’s Energy Minister Oteng Adjei according to a release from the countrty’s Finance Ministry said daily deliveries had ranged between 120,000 MMBtu to none at all.

Only recently, the Chairman of Ghana’s Parliamentary Committee for Energy and Mines, Moses Asaga said at an oil industry forum in Lagos that Independent Power Projects (IPPs) built in Ghana and had relied on gas supply from the WAGP, had suffered greatly.

“When the project started, we went ahead to build Independent Power Projects, which were supposed to be powered through gas from Nigeria. The power projects suffered greatly due to delay in the flow of gas from Nigeria . When it eventually started, the gas was not coming as compressed,” Asaga said.

Managing Director of the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAGPCo), Charles Charles Adeniji, told newsmen that the laying of the pipeline and gas metering system had been completed, gas supply had yet to reach full capacity, with output just about one third of its capacity.

The system, which runs offshore from Nigeria to terminals in Benin, Togo and Ghana, has an intended initial capacity of 170,000 MMBtu per day, according to its Web site, but has suffered problems since it started in 2008.

Flows on the 678-km line were interrupted for about a year in 2009 due to vandalism of supply lines in Nigeria, where energy infrastructure is routinely targeted by militants angered over unequal distribution of wealth.

The pipeline was designed to transport gas from Nigeria’s oilfields to ease chronic power shortages around West Africa, seen as a hindrance to the region’s development.

The pipeline is owned by consortium of companies including Chevron, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and Shell, along with local power companies.

Ghana’s dependence on the line is expected to shrink in coming years as it exploits natural gas reserves held in its offshore oil fields, which began producing in December.

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