The Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) has expressed serious concern over the frequent breakdown of the compressor on the offshore production platform, the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, and the inability of the Volta River Authority (VRA) to consume the processed gas.
The situation, according to Ghana Gas, was having a serious financial repercussion on the company, as the final commercial commissioning date of the project had elapsed.
It also said, Ghana Gas was not able to meet the simple demand of 60 million standard cubic feet (scf) by the VRA to power its generating units at Aboadze.
A source at the VRA said the volume of gas required from Ghana Gas to power its plants was irregular and the only explanation was the compressor failure on the FPSO.
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Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Chief Executive of Ghana Gas, Dr George Adjah-Sipa Yankey, said the company had done enough with regard to the commissioning of the facility to its fullest operational competence.
At present, he said, the plant was receiving about 39 million scf, which was far lower than the 140 million scf the operators had promised.
“We hope supply from offshore improves to enable it to ramp up to 55 million scf for the VRA’s daily consumption,” he said.
“Our focus was to process about 140 or 150 million scf continually for about three to four days to conform to the integrity of the plant. The problem is that once you process 150 million scf and the VRA can take only 55 million scf, then you have to flare about 100 million scf of processed gas, which is a cost to the company,” Dr Yankey said.
He said the frequent breakdown, on many occasions lasting for more than 24 to 30 hours, were making it impossible for regular supply of gas to the Aboadze thermal plant at Shama.
He said aside from the irregular supply from the offshore platform, the breakdowns were also making it difficult for Ghana Gas to complete the commissioning process to conform with the integrity of the processing plant.
“I must say that the tripping resulting in irregular supply has been taking place for some time now, with the current one occurring about 1:30 p.m. last Saturday,” he said.
Dr Yankey said the operators of the field and the production platform promised to resolve the issue in five hours.
“It will interest you to note that the operators went beyond the five fours to more than 30 hours,” he said.