The Energy Ministry has assured that the cleaning and inspection of the West African Gas pipeline from Nigeria to Ghana will not affect electricity supply.
The West African Gas Pipeline Company limited (WAPCo); operators of the West African Gas pipeline will today (January 20) begin a maintenance exercise of the pipeline and is expected to be completed by March 21 2020.
The exercise according to the Ministry of Energy will limit power generation from plants in the Tema enclave which mostly rely on gas.
But the head of Communications and Public Affairs at the Energy Ministry, Nana Kofi Oppong Damoah told Citi News that provisions have been made to mitigate the loss.
“Effectively, gas is not going to be available in the Tema enclave. This means that a lot of the power plants within the enclave which run solely on gas are not going to be available. However, we have made other arrangements to ensure that we are able to bring constraints to other plants which are even more efficient to augment the difficulties we may face. We have taken measures with our stakeholders to ensure that there will be no difficulties.”
Energy Ministry makes offshore cleaning announcement
The cleaning and inspection of its offshore pipeline from Nigeria to Ghana, is often referred to as “pigging” in the pipeline industry.
This customary maintenance activity is intended to protect the integrity and assure safe operations of WAPCo’s offshore pipeline which is the main critical asset of the company, transporting natural gas within the four (4) West African States of Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana.
It is also an activity which is consistent with regulatory requirements and also important for maintaining the integrity of the pipeline to ensure efficient and reliable operations.
In addition to cleaning the pipeline of debris, pigging will provide critical information on the condition of the pipeline to improve decisions on effective maintenance of the pipeline, prolong its lifespan and to improve the safety of the pipeline operations. Effluents from the pigging will be discharged in Takoradi in line with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements.
Pigging consists of cleaning and internal inspection of the offshore pipeline from Nigeria to Ghana using multiple cleaning Pipeline Inspection Gauges (PIGS) and an “intelligent pig” for data gathering on structural integrity.
The PIG will be launched from WAPCo’s Lagos Beach Compressor Station (LBCS) in Badagry, Nigeria and will be received at their Takoradi Regulating & Metering Station (RMS).
This maintenance activity is expected to temporarily limit the availability of gas at the Tema, Lome and Cotonou offtake facilities.
Since there will be limited gas supply for power generation in Tema during the period, the Ministry of Energy in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and other key players in the country’s gas-to-power sector have made provision to mitigate the impact on the country’s grid system to ensure reliable and stable power supply.