Business News of 2014-01-27

‘Atuabo Gas plant must be completed on schedule’

The Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, says it is critical that the Atuabo Gas infrastructure project be completed on schedule as it is affecting oil production on the Jubilee fields.

He said gas supply from Nigeria to the West African Pipeline had dropped from 80 million standard cubic feet per day to 30 million due to repair works, thus affecting power generation at the Aboadze Thermal Plant.

Mr Buah said this when officials of the ministry and major stakeholders in the petroleum sector, including Tullow Ghana Limited, Kosmos Energy, Volta River Authority (VRA), Environmental Protection Agency and Petroleum Commission, visited the gas project site at the weekend to assess progress of work.

He, therefore, called for aggressive co-ordination of all the stakeholders in the petroleum sector to facilitate quick completion of the project. Mr David Xu, the Technical Director of Sinopec, the Chinese firm executing the project, projected that mechanical completion of the gas project would be March 31, adding that the first gas from the Jubilee Oilfield was expected on April 28 for test-run.

He said between 40 and 60 million standard cubic feet of gas would be used for the test-run to warm up the machines for a week. After the engineers had approved the test-run, he said, lean gas would be supplied to the VRA for power generation. He expressed optimism that by the middle of May this year, VRA would start receiving gas.

He said the project was 95 per cent complete and that some chemicals and parts of a spherical tank were expected from South Africa to enable the firm to complete the project.

Mr Xu said both onshore and offshore pipelines from the Jubilee Oilfields through Atuabo to the metering station at Aboadze had been laid. He said the vital gas processing components – as well as a Central Control Room, Deethaniser and Debutaniser towers, Water Treatment Plant, Reception Facility Area, LPG Recovery Area, Flare KO Drum, LPG Tanks and Generators – had been installed.

He added that the gas plant was built to produce 150 million standard cubic feet of gas per day but would initially produce 120 million standard cubic feet a day. Mr Xu indicated that a gas distribution station had also been built at Essiama to supply gas to the northern sector of the country.

Mr Kirk Kwofie, the Chief Executive Officer of the VRA, said supply of gas to the VRA would improve power generation, since it was more affordable to generate electricity with gas than with fuel. He said the gas project was crucial to the country’s economy and pledged the support of the VRA to fast-track the completion of the project.