GNGC To Hit Ground Running

The Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC), which was recently incorporated to implement the national gas infrastructure project, says it will begin initiating moves to eliminate continued gas reinjection beyond the guaranteed safe period for the Jubilee Field reservoir as well as gas flaring. Talking about realizing the urgency that Government attached to the project, the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GNGC, Dr. George Adjah-Sipa Yankey, said his outfit is “determined to be meticulous and professional but with speed,” adding, “Continued flaring is something that we want to eliminate or avoid and we continue to remind ourselves and be guided by it”. Since the last week of April this year, gas is being re-injected into the Jubilee Field reservoir, to avoid wastage through continued flaring. The re-injection is expected to continue for a period not exceeding 18 – 24 months. After this period, it is estimated that it would not be safe to continue with re-injection as that might threaten the safety of the reservoir. In the event that the gas infrastructure is not in place at the end of the estimated safe period, the Jubilee operators would have to resort to flaring of the gas. Dr. Yankey, who was responding to questions from The Business Analyst in Accra on Monday, said in that regard the front end engineering and designs (F.E.E.D.) for the shallow water portion of the gas pipeline would be completed before the end of November this year and processes were also underway to ensure that a contractor would have been selected to execute the project. A Ghanaian-based consortium of engineers, Worley Parson /Intec Sea/Atlantis, is handling the FEED, he revealed. “We are working closely with the former agencies which started the project,” Dr. Yankey disclosed, citing the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST), Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Energy Commission, when asked what has become of the work started by these agencies on the project. An evidence of that, he said, was in the fact that senior officers from these agencies have been seconded and are working closely with GNGC, adding that this collaboration will continue. “We are taking off from where GNPC left off and it is our desire to work collaboratively in the national interest,” the GNGC boss stated. Dr. Yankey said GNGC has the primary responsibility to pipe gas from the Jubilee Field offshore to feed processing plants onshore, and transporting the processed gas to markets, which will initially be the Aboadze Thermal Plant site at Takoradi. The initial transmission pipelines to be constructed from the Domunyili gas processing site would be to Aboadze, and later Tarkwa and Abosso, when more gas is brought on-stream, the GNGC boss revealed. The Aboadze Thermal Plant, which is the target market for the initial processed gas, requires 120million standard cubic feet (scf) of gas as fuel to generate electricity. He said the objective is to achieve cheaper power generating cost, adding that additionally, “Along the pipelines, we hope to attract investors to build power plants which will use gas as fuel to generate electricity,” The first phase of the project involves the laying of gas pipelines from FPSO Kwame Nkrumah MV 21 in the Jubilee Field to Bonyere, the construction of a gas processing plant and transportation of processed gas to feed the Aboadze Thermal Plant for cheaper electricity. GNPC had already constructed a 14-kilometre stretch of the deepwater portion of the pipeline and the company says it would ensure expedited action to lay the remaining 36-kilometre stretch to the Domunyili gas processing site onshore at Bonyere in the Western Region. BOST had also undertaken surveys of the likely route of the gas pipeline and storage sites from Domunyili to Pumpuni, all in the Western Region. The GNGC is taking over from a transitional Project Implementation Unit (PIU), consisting of two representatives each from the various agencies and headed by Government Energy Policy Advisor, Nii Amarh Amarquaye. Meanwhile, the Board of the GNGC has declared its commitment to work assiduously at meeting the country’s objective of fast-tracking the gas infrastructure development. Giving the assurance at the inauguration of the Board in Accra last week, the Chairman of the Board, Dr. Kwesi Botchway, said failure is not in their horizon and they would go to all lengths to deliver on their mandate. Dr. Botchway, a former Minister for Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP) was chairman of a National Gas Task Force that was set up last year by the President to recommend the way forward for the national gas infrastructure project. The task force submitted its report to the President in April this year. Inaugurating the Board, the Minister of Energy, Dr. Joe Oteng-Adjei said in a country where gas for power generation was at its infant stages, it was important to first focus on domestic utilization, mainly for power, fertilizer production, methanol production and the petrochemical industry. He therefore tasked the GNGC to “play the lead role in the commercialization of gas resources for the country and influence the implementation of the ‘domestic agenda’ to effectively link the petroleum resources to the economic development of the country.” He charged the Board to be custodians of the national assets entrusted to them to ensure the country gets decent returns on her investments, taking into account the welfare of workers, who are the true assets of the country. The other Board Members of the Board of Directors of GNGC are Mr. Yankey, Dr. Valerie Sawyerr, a Deputy Chief of Staff of the Office of the President, Mr. Thomas Manu, Director (Exploration & Production) of GNPC, and Mr. Eric Yankah, a former Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Volta River Authority (VRA). The five-member Board has Mr. Agbesi Dzakpasu as Secretary.