Business News of 2014-03-21

Nigeria increases gas supply to Ghana


Following the visit of the Minister of Energy, Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah to Nigeria on the instructions of President Mahama to hold talks with his counterpart in a bid to solving the ongoing power crisis in Ghana, gas supply from Nigeria has as of Tuesday March 18, 2014 improved from a paltry 30 million to 50 million standard cubic feet per day, The Al-Hajj can confirm.
The Gas supply from Nigeria, according to sources at the presidency is expected to jump to between 70 and 80 million standard cubic feet by the end of the month.
As the Energy Minister returns to brief the president on the outcome of his visit to Nigeria, sources told this paper, the two countries are working very hard to fulfill the contractual volume of around 120 million standard cubic feet per day, Ghana is to receive from the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo).
Information gathered by The Al-Hajj indicates that the reduction in supply of gas from Nigeria to Ghana was as a result of increase in the consumption of gas by Nigeria following the country's introduction of many thermal plants to augment its poor energy generation and supply capacity.
Ghanaians are enduring erratic power supply again after electricity consumers contended with a year-long load management between 2012 and 2013. Currently, there is a shortage in the supply of gas from Nigeria to power thermal plants in Tema and Takoradi to generate power to complement what is produced from the Akosombo Hydro-electric Dam.
The country is currently missing close to 300 megawatts due to the gas supply deficit, as well as expansion works at the Takoradi T2 thermal plant.
Officials of VRA, Ghana Grid Company and the Electricity Company of Ghana, producers, transmitters and distributors in the power sector respectively, formally announced a "temporary load management" exercise beginning Monday, March 17, due to generation challenges associated with the supply of natural gas to power Ghana’s thermal generators.
The Nigeria Gas Company has failed to deliver the required volume of gas of about 120 million standard cubic feet per day it agreed with Ghana.
The Minister of energy, accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer of VRA, Isaac Kirk Coffie visited Nigeria. The trip is said to have yielded positive results as gas flow from Nigeria, which reduced to an all-time low of 30 million standard cubic feet per day, has as of Tuesday increased to 50 million standard cubic feet per day.
It is expected gas supply will increased in the coming days and the 300 megawatts lost would be restored to bring to an end the ongoing “load shedding exercise”.