West African Energy Ministers want WAGP gas flow by February 2013

gas-pipelineEnergy Ministers of West Africa have asked operators of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) to ensure that gas starts flowing by February ending next year.

The ultimatum was given by the ministers at a crunch meeting in Accra on Friday.

The communiqué issued at the end of a Marathon meeting, that the disruption of the gas supply was having adverse economic and social impacts on the economies of the three beneficiary countries, namely, Ghana, Benin and Togo.

The Communigue signed by Dr. David Ige, Minister of Petroleum Nigeria, Tairou Babieque and Barthedemy Dahoga Kassa both Ministers Energy from Togo and Benin respectively and Dr. Oteng – Adjei, Ghana’s Energy Minister expressed their dissatisfaction about the inability of the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCO), operators of the pipeline to give a tentative date as to when they will resume gas supply.

The minister urged WAPCO to do due diligence on the rehabilitation work and communicate to member countries by the end of the year, a firm schedule for the conclusion of the rehabilitation works.

The Communique made it clear that though the Ministers recognized the importance of ensuring the integrity of work particularly on the quality and safety processes “we are however worried about the schedule that has been proposed for the completion of the rehabilitation work in 2013 March.”

WAPCO’s Board of Directors at the meeting has explained that the delay had been caused by fatality which occurred on October 30, 2012 at the Takoradi Reduction and Metering station resulting in the death of two people and disrupted the flow of the gas.

The management explained that it was realized that the work at hand was beyond the level of their staff and recommended that the rest of the works be outsourced to expert companies to complete.

The WAPCO management assured the ministers that the contract for the outsourcing of the project was expected to be awarded in January 2013.

It would be recalled that the WAGP which transport natural gas from Nigeria to Benin, Togo and Ghana was raptured by the anchor of a fleeing contraband ship off the coast of Togo on August 28, 2012.

The incident led to a shutdown of the pipeline which subsequently affected the power generation capacity of the country as most of the thermal plants rely on the natural gas from Nigeria to power the plants.

Source: Ghanaian Times

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