Credible information available to The Finder suggests that an emergency technical challenge has led to a shutdown of the Ameri Plant, leading to a shortage in available power nationwide and a possible return to the unpleasant situation of power rationing.
It is learnt that an explosion at the Aboadze Thermal Plant may have caused the technical challenge, resulting in a loss of power of about 400mw of electricity nationwide.
Sources close to Tullow, operators of the Jubilee Field and the Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) say they were informed last night by the Volta River Authority (VRA) to reduce supply of lean gas from 78 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) to about 25mmscf/d to avert further challenges.
Communications Manager of the Ghana Gas Company, Alfred Ogbamey Tetteh, confirmed that the VRA has requested for a reduction of its offtake of lean gas to the Aboadze as a result of what the VRA says are “technical challenges”.
He however, said he was unable to speak on the issues of Ameri because “Ghana Gas has no contractual relationship”.
As at around 4 pm yesterday when this paper spoke to Mr Ogbamey, he stated that the situation had led to a cut of about 50 million standard cubic feet per day – i.e. from 78.3 mmscf/day to 27.96 mmscf.
When The Finder contacted the VRA in the issue, its Head of Corporate Communications at VRA, Gertrude Koomson, said she was going to verify if the incident was true and revert back to the paper. Thereafter, all calls placed to her on her mobile phone and text messages seeking confirmation were not returned.
However, information gathered by The Finder indicates that the VRA has informed the upstream gas suppliers' that it was working hard to resolve the challenges.
As of press time yesterday, Ghana Gas told The Finder that the VRA had worked on the situation and was ramping up its intake of gas.
Mr Ogbamey stated that the Ghana gas had increased its supply to the plant from 27.96 mmscf/day to 50 27.96 mmscf.
This latest incident comes at the hills of a recent shut down of the Aboadze thermal plant after the Atuabo gas processing plant was shut down for routine maintenance.
Before the shutdown, the Aboadze plant was being supplied some 80 mmscf/d to generate about 250 megawatts (MW) of power for the national grid.
Ghana currently has an installed capacity of 3,644MW but has an energy supply need of around 2,200 megawatts (MW) plus reserves of about 200MW.
The troubled AMERI Energy Power has an installed capacity of 250 but was generating 230 of power
The largest production plant, the Akosombo Hydroelectric Power Plant currently supplies about 900MW of its installed 1,020MW of energy.