GNGC Fumbles Over Gas Completion Date

The Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) appears not to be certain about the start of the flow of gas from its Atuabo Gas infrastructure in the Western region for power generation in the country. At Public Utilities Regulatory Commissionís (PURC) consultative workshop on domestic natural gas processing and pricing recently in Koforidua, representative of GNGC, Andrew Adu could not confirm the completion date when questioned by editors and senior journalists, who took part in the workshop. Intially, Mr Adu of the Commercial team, GNGC, during a presentation on the gas sector, disclosed that gas would begin to flow by the first week of July, this year. However, when he was asked whether July was the official date given to the commercial team by their superiors, Adu and his team could not confirm or deny. Most of the participants at the workshop became furious due to the inability of GNGCís representative to answer relevant questions. But PURCís officials intervened to ensure calm. Mr Adu, in his earlier presentation, said the Ghana Gas project, which would process about 150 million Standard Cubic Feet of raw gas per day from the Jubilee Oilfield, was almost completed. According to him, the gas processing plant was 90 percent complete, while the offshore pipeline was 99 percent complete, waiting commissioning. He said the onshore pipeline was also 98 percent complete, adding that pre-commissioning activity was on-going after which Tullow interconnection will follow. Mr Adu said the company was currently awaiting the determination of pipeline tariffs by the PURC. He said the flow of gas from the Atuabo Gas infrastructure was expected to reduce the cost of power generation and ensure reliable power supply in the country. Mr. Adu said economic recovery gas price will be driven by infrastructure and operating maintenance costs, financing charges, depreciation and rate of return. He said Ghana Gas has been approached by a number of Independent Power Producers (IPPs), who have secured temporary generation license from the Energy Commission, adding that estimated IPPs gas demand was in the region of 900,000MMbtu/d. Mr. Adu said Ghana Gas would ensure constant supply of gas by connecting pipeline from the West African Gas Pinpeline to Tema in future to power industry and thermal plants. He said Ghana gas will also import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and encourage exploration away from Tano Basin through rebates and tax holidays/exemptions.