The country cannot rely on Nigeria for stable and adequate supply of gas for thermal power generation, Mr. Kirk Koffi, a Deputy Chief Executive of the Volta River Authority (VRA) has said.
Current gas supply of 70million cubic feet per day from Nigeria via the West African Gas Pipeline for thermal power generation is 50 million cubic feet short of the contractual volume of 120million cubic feet per day.
This has meant that only the 200megawatts gas-reliant Asogli thermal plant and just one other plant in VRA?s portfolio run on gas.
?The future for us is to depend on our own gas. We cannot 100% depend on them [Nigeria]. The future is to get this gas from Ghana and to have Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and invest in LNG infrastructure; that?s what we are looking at. The future is to get that massive infrastructure in this country to help drive thermal generation to drive the economy. The levels [of gas from the fields in the country] are high.?
?The West African Gas Pipeline as designed today can only give us 170 million cubic feet. We need extra investment to be able to move from 170 to 240 in order to realise the full potential of that pipeline,?he said.
Nigeria, which has abundant gas reserves is estimated to export 3billion cubic feet of gas per day and also flares about 1billion cubic feet every day. Mr. Koffi said: ?The gas is there. The problem with getting enough supply from Nigeria is the investment to bring the gas from the ground; we are influencing that, but is not happening.?
Electricity demand currently stands at about 1,800 megawatts per day. The VRA, with a total installed capacity of 2,100 megawatts, generates about 1,600 megawatts of electricity — both hydro and thermal — every day.
Bui, CENIT,and Sunon Asogli power plants together produce about 400 megawatts of electricity to supplement what the VRA produces.
The Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) is currently constructing a pipeline to transport gas from the Jubilee Field to the gas processing plant at Atuabo in the Western Region.The company is also constructing a transmission line from the processing plant to Takoradi to transport processed gas to the thermal power plants at Aboadze.
So far, both the onshore and offshore pipelines from the Jubilee Oilfield to Atuabo through to Aboadze Thermal Plant had been laid. Two LPG storage tanks are also nearing completion. The entire project, according to the GNGC is about 72 percent completed.
The GNGC has said that the project will hopefully be completed by the first quarter of next year.
The completion of the gas project is expected to significantly reduce the amount the VRA spend on the purchase of crude oil for thermal power generation.