Leading natural gas transporter, West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo), has doubled its capacity from an initial 70mmscf per day, to 140mmscf per day.
According to management, the infrastructural expansion works – which cost some US$3.5million – will enable the company to transport higher volumes of natural gas to Volta River Authority (VRA), aside from repositioning WAPCo to play its critical function as a fuel supplier within the power generation sector.
“This investment places the company in a better position to play its role as a gas transporter by facilitating access to the essential commodity in places where it is most needed,” General Manager Corporate Affairs, Harriet Wereko-Brobby, told journalists after a tour of the company’s Tema Regulating and Metering (R&M) facility.
“There is demand and interest for gas, just as there is need for access to reliable and cheap fuel for power,” she said.
A growing demand for natural gas in the country as a whole, and the Tema enclave in particular, as a result of a massive expansion of the country’s power infrastructure required of WAPCo to deliver the entire foundation volume requirement of 130 mmscf/d of natural gas to the VRA in Tema.
WAPCo is a joint venture between public and private sector companies from Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana, with the mandate to transport natural gas from Nigeria to customers in partner countries in a safe, responsible and reliable manner – at prices competitive with other fuel alternatives.
Currently, the company is in negotiations with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and ENI to connect the pipeline to local sources of gas to enable the reverse flow of gas from the oil and gas enclave at Takoradi in the Western Region to Tema in the Greater Accra Region.
The pipeline was originally constructed to transport gas in a one-way direction – from Nigeria to Tema and then to Takoradi.
“Talks are far advanced with the GNPC to reverse the flow of gas from Takoradi; with such an arrangement, stranded gas in the west could be transported for use by power generating plants within the Tema enclave.”
Counting on the gas interconnection programme, WAPCo plans an additional expansion that will move its total capacity to 245mmscf per day to be able to accommodate stranded gas in the system.
Mrs. Wereko-Brobby indicated: “Should Ghana decide to export gas, the company will be well-placed to facilitate that process”.
She added that WAPCo, with such investments, is ready to help the country meet its energy needs.
“In response to recent developments, WAPCo has made a number of adjustments to remain relevant in fulfilling the sub-regional dream of making clean fuel available for generating energy to support development in the participating countries, including Ghana.”