Business News of 2012-09-29

West Africa Gas Pipeline to commence operations soon

The West African Gas Pipeline Company(WAPCo) is expected to complete works on its damaged pipeline that transports compressed gas from Nigeria to Ghana, Benin and Togo by December 25.

Repair works on the damaged pipeline commenced in September this year after the pipeline experienced a loss in pressure around the Lome segment on August 28 and got damaged.

The company shut down its operations after the facility was damaged by an unidentified vessel which came under fire from Togolese naval authorities and subsequently stopped all gas deliveries to its onshore stations.

The stoppage of gas deliveries to power stations has adversely affected service delivery at the generation, supply and distribution units of electricity services in Ghana leading to the current load shedding exercise in some parts of the country.

Mr Charles Adeniji, Managing Director of the Company at a press briefing on Friday explained that current works on the pipeline was about 10 per cent completed and that by December it would be over 90 per cent complete after which the pipes would be dried through the removal of water and debris in the lines.

He said investigations into the situation revealed that a total of six joints of the pipeline around the western corridor had been damaged while a concrete coating on a section of the pipeline had been removed and the pipe cracked.

He said a construction barge equipped with crane, welders, pipes and machines and six pipe joints had been hired to fabricate the replacement of six-pipe joint spools.

Mr Adeniji said sea water entered the line when it got broken and de-pressurized it, adding that pipeline Inspection Gauges, called “pigs” would be launched at the Nigeria end of the pipeline after the repairs to remove water which would be received at the Takoradi end.

“Pigs” will be run several times to ensure that the line is clean, we will then dry the line and then introduce gas. The amount of moisture in the gas/ nitrogen will indicate when the line is dried and when pigging can stop. After drying, the operating valves will be opened and gas will be introduced into the line, to commence gas transportation operations”, Mr Adeniji indicated.

He assured that the Company would collaborate with relevant agencies and organizations as well as intensify stakeholder engagements to safeguard the pipelines.

He asked governments in the sub-region to work to ensure a secured business environment devoid of criminality, vandalism, kidnapping and other vices to sustain business growth and to attract and sustain investors in the region.

Mrs. Harriet Wereko-Brobby, General Manager, Corporate Affairs-West African Gas Pipeline Company, said the company had its headquarters in Accra-Ghana, with field offices in Badagry-Nigeria, Cotonou - Benin, Lome-Togo, Tema and Takoradi, both in Ghana.

WAPCo transports processed natural gas, free of heavy hydrocarbons, liquids and water and it is ideally suited as a fuel for power plant and industrial applications. WAPCo’s gas is for power generation and is not LPG for cooking

WAPCo transports 123 million cubic feet of gas daily to Ghana and five million cubic feet each day to Togo and Benin respectively.

The Company is losing about 600,000 dollars of revenue daily for its inability to supply gas to the three countries.

WAPCo is also negotiating with its insurance providers for the necessary compensation to the damages which the company is yet to quantify while it still investigates the foreign vessel that destroyed the pipeline.

Source: GNA
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