Ghana's power crisis is likely to worsen following the inability of Tullow Ghana to regularly supply gas to the Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) for processing.
As a result, the processing units of Ghana Gas at Atuabo have been rendered idle, while some of the units at the Aboadze Thermal Plant in the Shama District in the Western Region have been shut down.
Engineers of the company say that they are just keeping some amount of pressure to maintain the system at the plant.
Ghana Gas is a government investment geared at ensuring that the country’s indigenous gas is processed into lean gas primarily for power generation and to support the petrochemical industries.
The company delivers 60 million standard cubic feet (mmscf) of lean gas per day to the Volta River Authority (VRA) power system at Aboadze, with the expectation that it will ramp up the figure to about 120mmscf in the future to generate about 500 megawatts (MW) of power.
However, the company has not been able to do so because Tullow Ghana, the lead operator of the Jubilee Fields, has not been able to supply gas on a regular basis to the Atuabo plant.
When contacted, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Gas, Dr George Adja-Sipa Yankey, said as of 2 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday), Tullow Ghana had informed the company of the difficulty in ensuring regular gas supply to the plant.
He said the frequent breakdown of the compressor on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, the offshore production platform, and the irregular supply of gas had been the major problems facing the plant since it commenced operations.
Dr Yankey said the frequent breakdown, on many occasions lasting between 24 and 30 hours, was making it impossible for the company to ensure the regular supply of gas to the Aboadze thermal plant for power generation.
Responding to the concerns of Ghana Gas, Tullow Ghana said it was committed to supplying gas to the Atuabo plant for processing.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Communications and Investor Relations Manager of Tullow Ghana, Ms Bernice Natue, said, “Currently, operations on the FPSO are going on as usual after the platform had been shut down over the weekend.”
The shutdown, she explained, was caused by a gas detection system which was initiated during a normal tank venting.
However, she said, the system tripped again yesterday afternoon but explained that the recent interruptions in gas supply from the FPSO were not directly related to the compression system.
“Our aim is to always maintain safe production operations and we adopt continuous improvement approach to our business to forestall such interruptions as much as [it] is technically possible,” she said.
She said Tullow Ghana had maintained very good communications with Ghana Gas through the respective control rooms for routine operational issues.
She said unplanned shutdowns of such nature were well communicated immediately to minimise the impact.
Source: Daily Graphic
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