A gas advisor to the Petroleum Minister, Dr Ben Asante, says the Sankofa gas project will improve gas supply security but will not be the panacea to Ghana’s gas supply and power challenges.
The monumental $7.9 billion Sankofa project, expected to produce oil from August 2017 and 180 million standard cubic feet of gas daily from February 2018, is said to be the biggest foreign direct investment in Ghana.
The project which attracted a record $700 million in guarantees by the World Bank, is perceived by some to be the key to Ghana’s power generation challenges.
However, Dr Asante at an oil, power and gas summit in Accra, estimated that the Sankofa gas project, the incoming TEN project and the Jubilee fields, would have a gas production ceiling of about 335 million standard cubic feet.
Meanwhile, the power enclave in Tema alone could require about 400 million standard cubic feet of gas when ongoing thermal power projects in the area such as the Cenpower project, Kpone project and the expansions to Sunon Asogli are completed.
According to him, demand far outstrips local gas production and inflows from the West African Gas Pipeline, making the case for Ghana to get liquefied natural gas.
“We certainly do need a lot more gas because our demand is much more than our supply,” he said.
“It will help tremendously but Sankofa alone can’t do it. If you look at the demand that we have for the east and the west, it just won’t do it,” Dr Asante told ghanabusinessnews.com.
“Tema alone could consume everything that we can produce domestically; and if we look at what is being supplied by Nigeria you can say that Tema alone can consume everything that we can really have in terms of supply.”
To reduce insecurity in gas supply and the gas deficit, particularly for the Tema area, an ongoing project by Quantum Power Ghana Gas aims to deliver a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) which can store liquefied natural gas, regasify it by heating and supply to Tema for power generation.
Liquefied natural gas is made by cooling natural gas to 160˚C, which shrinks its volume up to 600 times.
Quantum Power’s FSRU which will be moored 12km into the sea off Tema, is expected to be ready towards the end of 2016.
By Emmanuel Odonkor
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