Ghana finally gets gas from WAPCO for power generation

The long-awaited plan of the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCO) to supply gas to the Volta River Authority (VRA) through an alternative delivery point in Tema finally came on stream yesterday with the delivery of 60 million British thermal units (mmbtu) of free flow gas to the authority for power generation.

The VRA has concluded arrangement with the NGAS, marketers of WAPCO, to supply 35 million thermal units of gas out of the delivery to the Asogli Power Plant, which was completed a year ago but has remained idle because of lack of gas.

With the gas now flowing, the Asogli Power Plant will be able to generate 180 megawatts of energy to complement that of the VRA.

The acting Head of Public Relations of the VRA, Ms Bellona Gerard, told the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday that the supply of gas to the VRA generating plants in Tema meant that the authority would now be able to generate energy to meet total local demand and also take care of any technical emergencies and scheduled maintenance operations.

Until the delivery of gas to an alternative point in Tema, gas supplies were channelled directly to the authority’s plants in Takoradi, which depend on gas and fuel for combustion and energy generation.

Currently, the national energy demand is 1,500 megawatts but the VRA is generating 1,650 megawatts while the Asogli Power Plant will provide additional 180 megawatts to bring the national total to 1830 megawatts.

The supply of gas to the VRA will be increased to 120 million standard cubic feet of compressed gas by the end of the year.

According to Mrs Harriet Wereko Brobby, Head of Corporate Affairs of the WAPCO, the increase in gas supply to the VRA would be made possible after the completion of the company’s compressor station in Nigeria by the end of the year.

She explained that the WAPCO began firing gas to Ghana last year but was suspended because of technical hitches.

She said the company reactivated its supplies to the VRA in March, 2010 and indicated that the supply to an alternative delivery point in Tema, which was accomplished yesterday, meant that the VRA had been able to convert its equipment to use gas and other energy forms.

Meanwhile, the generating unit of the VRA, Aboadze Thermal Plant, which exploded last July, has resumed full operations after the replacement of the burnt transformer at a cost of $2 million.

The explosion of the generating plant affected the output of the VRA by 110 megawatts.

Two plants of the generating unit, which depended on crude oil, have now been switched to the use of gas from WAPCO to reduce operational cost.

VRA, Aboadze and its sister company, Takoradi International Company (TICO), contribute a total of 550 megawatts to the country’s energy needs.

The Director, Thermal Generation of VRA, Mr Richard Badger, told the Daily Graphic that currently all the units were available and had recovered the 110 megawatts of energy which were lost as a result of the explosion.

He said after the incident last month, officials of the plant conducted thorough examination of the remaining units to ensure that the systems were in perfect condition.

Source: Daily Graphic

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