Graphic Business News

Government allays fears over 'dumsor'

By: Jessica Acheampong
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Dr William Owuraku Aidoo (2nd left) addressing the media
Dr William Owuraku Aidoo (2nd left) addressing the media

Ghanaians are expected to enjoy stable power supply after the successful interconnection of the gas pipelines of the Ghana Gas Company Limited and the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAGPCo) that will see the transportation of surplus gas from Takoradi to Tema in the Greater Accra Region.

The interconnection exercise, which has currently resulted in disruptions in power supply to some parts of the country, is part of efforts to ensure that there was optimal use of gas from the country’s oil and gas producing fields for power generation.

The Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Power, Mr William Owuraku Aidoo, who gave the assurance at a news conference in Accra yesterday, said although there had been some disruptions in the supply of power, a successful interconnection would help add gas into the power generation mix and ultimately inure to the benefit of Ghanaians.

“We have taken the necessary key steps to reduce to the barest minimum the disruptions in power supply in the country. Once we complete this whole work, it is going to inure to the huge benefit of Ghanaians because we will be able to transport the stranded gas from the West to the East for power generation,” he said. 

He explained that provision was made to procure fuel to make up for the shortfall in current gas supply for power generation.

“We have procured enough fuel for the plants that use fuel. We have enough fuel. There is enough diesel to go to the Kpone Thermal Power Plant (KTPP) for power generation. As far as Asogli is concerned, they have their full complement of gas,” he said.

A successful tie-in will also help address the challenges with the supply of gas from the West Africa Gas Pipeline (WAGP) which is intermittent.

Shutdown
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Gas Company Limited (Ghana Gas), Dr Ben Asante, said as a result of the interconnection, the Gas processing plant at Atuabo had to be shut down as it went beyond just connecting the two pipelines.

“When that happens, we will have to shut both systems down. It is not just a matter of joining two pieces of pipes. First your system will have to be depressurised, and you also have to inert and take out all the flammable gas out of the system before you can do hot works and connect the pipelines,” he said.

He also added that the heaters and other facilities would have to be modified to meet the intended new design.    
The interconnection, he said, was, essentially, meant to facilitate the taking of the surplus gas in the West from Takoradi to the East in Tema.

“We began some three weeks ago and the intent was to have a partial shutdown so that we will be able to flow some gas and do some works. We are now at a point of a total shutdown. There will be absolutely no gas flowing through those two systems,” he said.

Background
A section of Ghanaians have lamented the recent disruptions in the supply of power in the country.

These disruptions have, however, been attributed to the scheduled planned shutdown of the Gas processing plant at Atuabo in the Western Region for 10 to 12 days to enable the interconnection of the pipelines. 

The Deputy Minister in charge of Petroleum, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, explained that despite the disruptions, postponing the shutdown would cost the country US$400,000 every day, hence the need to carry it out as scheduled.