Business News of Tuesday, 13 January 2015
Regular supply of gas from the Jubilee Fields has been hindered by the continuous failing of the field operator, Tullow Ghana’s, compressor at the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah.
The compressor used by oil company work in a similar fashion as pumps. It increase the pressure on a fluid and can transport the fluid through a pipe.
A close source told the B&FT that “Tullow’s compressor keep failing every now and then.”
This reduces the gas supplied to the Gas Processing Plant at Atuabo for processing and on-ward supply to the VRA’s plants at Aboadze for power generation.
Currently, two thermal units of the VRA at Aboadze are now operated solely on gas supplied by the Ghana Gas Processing Plant that sources its gas from the Jubilee oil and gas fields.
The VRA says the two units at the Aboadze thermal plant are currently able to utilise the entire 50 million standard cubic feet of gas per day supplied by the Ghana Gas Company.
The coming on-stream of the country’s gas could mean a 20% reduction in fuel costs to the power industry, or savings of US$2billion over a 10-year period. For the industry as a whole, this is enough to fund one 400MW power plant every other year.
Again, it will reduce the cost of maintenance for thermal plants by some 50 percent, according to the VRA and increase the availability of thermal plants.
Aside from Jubilee, the country is expecting gas from other fields like Sankofa and the TEN project area.
In the short- to medium-term, however, local gas supply will still not meet the demand even if all these projects come on board — hence the reliance on Nigeria for gas via the West African Gas Pipeline to augment local production.
Producers expect a peak supply of about 80million standard cubic feet of gas from Nigeria and about 120 million standard cubic feet of gas from Jubilee Field in Ghana, bringing the total supply to about 200million standard cubic feet of gas per day.
However, Ghana’s domestic gas requirement for power generation is estimated at 350million standard cubic feet per day. This will leave a deficit in gas-supply of about 150million standard cubic feet.
The VRA has therefore signed agreements for additional gas supply with other producers outside the NGas — current supplier of the commodity from Nigeria — for supply of the commodity via the West African Gas Pipeline.
Meanwhile, the Energy Ministry is exploring ways of creating a reverse flow system so that when gas produced is beyond the capacity of thermal plants sited in Aboadze, it can be channelled to power other thermal plants sited in Tema.
The new VRA Kpone thermal plant, which is under construction, the 200MW gas-reliant Sunon Asogli thermal plant and the CENIT plant are all sited in Tema.
Meanwhile, the country is said to have almost exhausted its hydropower potential with Bui coming on stream; this means a shift toward thermal power, which requires either crude oil or gas.