BY CHIKA AMANZE-NWACHUKU, This Day –Drastic reduction in gas supply from Nigeria through the West African Gas Pipeline Project (WAGPP) has forced the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to resort to load management in various parts of the country, pending when normalcy would return.
The WAGPP was initiated by the Federal Government with governments of Benin, Ghana, and Togo to supply gas from the Escravos – Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) owned by the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) to feed gas-fired generating plants of the three participating countries.
The project, the first regional natural gas transmission system in sub-Saharan Africa, a brainchild of former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration, had been envisaged to among others; channel away associated gas from Nigerian oil fields, where gas is still being flared, generate employment for Nigerians and foster economic integration of the West African countries involved.
Announcing the gas reduction last week, Volta River Authority (VRA), Accra, Ghana said the situation meant there would be a reduction in power supply by 100 megawatts during the peak periods from 6.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.
The VRA said authorities of Ghana had commenced discussions with its Nigeria counterpart on the need to increase supply from the current 40 million standard cubic feet per day (mscf/d), to the contractual volumes of 100 mscf/d, to enable the company to operate all its thermal facilities.
“VRA has therefore requested the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to undertake a load management exercise in various parts of the country, until the situation returns to normalcy,” Ghana News Agency quoted VRA to have said.
It added: “We assure our valued customers and the general public that VRA is committed to ensuring the supply of adequate power to all its customers, and regret any inconvenience caused,” it added.
VRA was established on April 26, 1961 under the Volta River Development Act, Act 46 of the Republic of Ghana, as a body corporate with the mandate to operate mainly as a power generation, transmission and distribution utility.
The Authority operates a total installed electricity generation capacity of 1,730MW. This is made up of two hydroelectric plants on the Volta River, with installed capacities of 1,020MW and 160MW at the Akosombo and Kpong Generating Stations, respectively, and complemented by a 330MW Combined Cycle Thermal Plant at Aboadze, near Takoradi.
A further 220mw Thermal Plant, Takoradi International Company (TICO) is owned as a joint venture with TAQA, from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
The plant, which is being operated in a simple cycle mode is being converted into a 330MW combined cycle plant, and thus bring the installed thermal generation capacity at Takoradi to 660MW.
Managers of the WAGP, the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) last year announced the completion of the project as well as commencement of gas delivery to its customers under the WAGPP.
Source: This Day