Energy Ministers Disappointed

Energy Ministers from the sub-region have expressed dissatisfaction with the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo)’s inability to assure consumer states of the exact date it intends to resume the supply of gas to the various countries. At a recent meeting in Accra, energy ministers of the West African Gas Pipeline Authority expressed worry about the proposed schedule for the completion of rehabilitation work. According to them, the economic and social costs of the continuous disruption of gas supply on the economies of the three consuming countries – Ghana, Togo and Benin – were unbearably huge. The pipelines were shut down in August after the Togolese Navy informed the company of a crossfire that ensued between the Navy and a suspected vessel that was seen around the anchorage of the Lome waters that same month. The ministers therefore directed that the tentative schedule completion date of end of March 2013 proposed by WAPCo should be shortened to end of February, 2013. Ghana is yet to realize full supply despite assurances from the company that it would resume full supply of gas to its clients before end of the year. WAPCo completed the repair of the pipeline on 15th October, 2012 and commenced technical commissioning. On 30th October, 2012, during the dewatering process, a multiple fatality occurred at the Takoradi R&M station leading to the suspension of the commissioning. In line with that, the WAPCo Board of Directors recommended that the rest of the commissioning works should be outsourced to expert companies to complete the project. The contract is expected to be awarded in January 2013. The ministers, comprising Ghana’s Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, Togo’sTairou Babiegue, Nigeria’s Dr David Ige and Benin’s Barthelemy Dahoga Kassa, directed that a firm schedule for conclusion of the rehabilitation works should be communicated to member countries by the end of December 2012. The Committee of Ministers have since apologised to citizens of the member-states for the inconvenience caused as a result of this unfortunate situation.