Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Dizeani Allison Madueke
By Chika Amanze-Nwachuku
The Federal Government is said to be making frantic efforts to boost gas supply to Ghana in line with agreements reached by both countries under the West African Gas Pipeline Project (WAGPP).
Nigeria and Ghana were said to have entered into agreement for the supply of between 80 and 123 million standard cubic feet of gas per day to Ghana from January to May this year. However, Nigeria was only able to supply about 40 million to the country (Ghana), a development, which has forced the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to resort to load management in various parts of the country.
But Ghana’s Volta River Authority (VRA) disclosed last week that gas supply from Nigeria was expected to normalise within the next three weeks to ensure continuous supply of power to the country.
Chief Executive Officer of VRA was quoted by Ghana News Agency to have said that the erratic supply of gas from Nigeria since the beginning of the year meant that the company was unable to meet its generation capacity to satisfy the increasing demand for electricity.
The WAGPP was initiated by the Federal Government with governments of Benin, Ghana, and Togo to supply gas from the Escravos - Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) owned by the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) to feed gas-fired generating plants of the three participating countries.
The project, the first regional natural gas transmission system in sub-Saharan Africa, a brainchild of former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration, had been envisaged to among others; channel away associated gas from Nigerian oil fields, where gas is still being flared, generate employment for Nigerians and foster economic integration of the West African countries involved.
Announcing the gas reduction last month, VRA, Accra, said the situation meant there would be a reduction in power supply by 100 megawatts during the peak periods from 6.00 p.m. (1800 hours) to 10.00 p.m (2200 hours).
The VRA said authorities of Ghana had commenced discussions with its Nigeria counterpart on the need to increase supply from the current 40 million standard cubic feet per day (mscf/d), to the contractual volumes of 100 mscf/d, to enable the company to operate all its thermal facilities.
““VRA has therefore requested the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to undertake a load management exercise in various parts of the country, until the situation returns to normalcy,” VRA said.