Power supply could worsen as FPSO likely to go for repairs

FPSO Kwame Nkrumah
FPSO Kwame Nkrumah

Ghana’s fragile power situation could face a significant setback as the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah may need to go away briefly for repairs, ghanabusinessnews.com has gathered.

The vessel’s turret – the cylindrican and funnel-shaped part at the bow (the front) which receives the risers (subsea pipes) from the sea bed and submarine umbilicals and mooring which stabilise the vessel – have suffered some damage.

The damage to the turrets which also allow weathervaning by the vessel – rotation in response to weather adversity – means the vessel cannot remain stable and cannot offload oil and gas to other vessels for export.

After touring the vessel, the Petroleum Minister, Emmanuel Kofi Armah Buah, admitted last week that the damage to the turret was serious, following an announcement by authorities initially on March 20, that the FPSO was shutting down for a two-week routine maintenance.

The shutdown of the FPSO and gas flow to the processing facility at Atuabo which resulted in a switch of some thermal plants to light crude, has affected power generation and brought flashes of the power crisis, that the country had to endure for some years.

The operating partners of the Jubilee field said the damage to the vessel’s turret could be resolved soon but other sources in the oil and gas sector have hinted that the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah may need to visit a dry dock soon for its turret to be repaired.

Should that become necessary, the nearest one capable of undertaking such repairs is in Spain and the vessel may need to be there for about one month or a month and a half.

During this time, if the government can’t find money to buy enough heavy and light crude and liquefied natural gas for the thermal plants that run solely on gas, there would be a return to the power crisis because of the lack of a significant reserve margin.

By Emmanuel Odonkor

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