General News Tue, 31 Mar 2015

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Dumsor: VRA fails again

The Volta River Authority (VRA) has failed to deliver on its promise to utilise the 120 million standard cubic feet of gas from the Ghana National Gas Company to improve electricity supply and ease the suffering of Ghanaians.

On January 24, this year, the VRA, in a statement signed by its Head of Corporate Communications, Mr Samuel Fletcher, said it expects to use the full 120 million standard cubic feet gas from Atuabo by the end of March 2015.

However, as the month ends today, VRA is unable to tell if this promise would be fulfilled.

The inability of the VRA to utilise the 120 million standard cubic feet of gas produced per day is partly responsible for the worsening power crisis.

VRA can generate 550 megawatts of power every day from 120 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.

It has emerged that the Volta River Authority (VRA) owes the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) over $40 million for gas supplied it from the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant.

VRA’s debt to GNGC covers gas supplied to VRA to run its Aboadze Thermal Plant, including gas it offtakes for the TICO plant.

GNGC began supply of lean gas to the VRA on November 24, 2014.

Investigations by The Finder indicate that the situation is threatening the survival of GNGC, though officials of the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant were tight-lipped on the issue when reached.

When The Finder called Mr Fletcher yesterday on the $40m debt, he said he could not speak to the issue.

On the March deadline to use all gas produced by Ghana Gas, he could not say when VRA can take all the gas from Ghana Gas.

All he could say was that TAPCo was running fully on gas from Ghana Gas and as of yesterday was utilising 68.6 million standard cubic feet of gas.

According to him, TAPCo has three units and two of them run on gas while one unit runs on steam generated by the two units using gas.

At the time Mr Fletcher issued the press release on the March deadline, VRA said it was unable to fully utilise the gas produced by the Ghana National Gas Company because some of its plants were down.

The statement, signed by Mr Fletcher, said TICO units, for instance, were not ready to run on gas.

“However, the first TICO unit has recently been returned to service after a long outage, and we expect the process of conversion to gas to be completed within the next two weeks to increase gas consumption to about 80 million standard cubic feet.

“The second TICO unit has been taken out of service for scheduled maintenance and will be available in March. Accordingly, the full 120 million standard cubic feet can be used from March 2015,” the statement said.

Not much has since changed as the Jubilee Partners and the Ghana National Gas Company are ready to give the VRA 120 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, with VRA being incapable of using the gas.

Source: The Finder

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