Business News of Sunday, 7 April 2013
Policy Think Tank IMANI Ghana says its seven-hour inspection tour of the Ghana gas project shows it is about 66 percent away from completion.
IMANI Ghana, in its initial report of the inspection of the Early Phase Gas Infrastructure Project (EPGIP) in the Western regional capital Takoradi and Atuabo said it believes the “overall project is 33% complete”.
The Plant will enable safe commercial delivery of processed gas from Atuabo to the Aboadze-based Takoradi Thermal Processing Plant (TTPP). It will also facilitate the transport of LPG from the same site to Domunli for onward evacuation to Accra by sea vessels.
The source of the gas will be the Jubilee oil fields in the same region. An onshore pipeline will carry the gas first to the processing plant a few meters off the coast, and then to the power plant at Aboadze.
IMANI noted in the report that: “At the current rate of completion we believe the project will be ready to deliver gas for power production in Ghana sometime in early 2014”, adding that: “The project may still be fast-tracked for completion by end of 2013 if the flow of funds were to be assured for any such acceleration”. IMANI Ghana said from its investigations: “The modular plant requires 20 months of fabrication and engineering, which makes it unlikely, despite recent reports, that it can be completed and shipped before the third quarter of this year.
These include everything from car parks, staff quarters, fire-fighting installations, boreholes, reverse osmosis equipment to treat water, power plants, connections to the main grid, communication systems (a fibre-optic line is being laid alongside the online gas pipeline), LPG tanks, security systems, completion of outstanding earthworks and sub-structural elements, cooling equipment for the storage decks, and the frontend engineering for the landfalls which is the point where the gas from Jubilee shall be fed into the processing plant in Atuabo”.
It remarked that: “With the exception of the earthworks and foundational/sub-structural developments, the other components of the site preparation to receive the gas processing modules are outstanding”.
It however acknowledged that: “The completion of the modular plant and its shipping from Canada represents a hard limitation on the speed with which the on-site activities in Atuabo can be accelerated” and mentioned that the Contractor, Sinopec, “has currently not ramped up manpower on the sites”.
The report also stated that: “In addition to the Gas Processing Plant site, work has started on the other components of the early Phase Gas Infrastructure Project (EPGIP). As part of the EPGIP, Sinopec is putting up a metering and regulating station in Inchaban, Takoradi near the Aboadze power station”.
The facility shall measure and regulate the flow of the processed gas coming from the Atuabo plant before it is fed into the power plant. IMANI Ghana also reports that early stage earthworks could be seen at the site of the metering station.
“The critical Esiama Distribution Station; the Domunli LPG tank farm, 20km from Atuabo, which shall be fed by another 20-inch pipeline with LPG isolated from the gas treated at the Atuabo plant; and the Amansuri basin LPG take-off points, are some of the other major outstanding components of the EPGIP that are at the very initial stages of construction”, the report noted.
It admitted that: “Of all the components of the project, it is the pipeline system that most justifies the confidence of the engineers”. The onshore pipeline measuring about 111 kilometers from Atuabo through Pumpuni to Aboadze is about 65% to 70% complete, and accounts for the bulk of project work completed to date.
The report however revealed that: “One curious area of confusion in determining the state of project execution is whether remote monitoring of the pipeline is planned”.
It said the engineers are confident that this is not necessary since the pipeline is not as lengthy as those found in some parts of the world. IMANI however says: “The absence of continued remote monitoring might delay efforts to investigate and mitigate a suspected leakage”.
It said: “Another area of interest is pressure management”, saying: “The engineers were of the opinion that the length of the pipeline and the quantity of gas being transported suggest minimal pressure challenges”. The pipeline has been designed to carry about 400 million cubic feet of gas.