Ghana may return to acute power rationing in the coming days should the Volta River Authority (VRA) fail to settle its $82 million indebtedness to the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo).
WAPCo has notified the VRA it may cut gas supply to it by closing WAPCo’s valves at the Ghana end of the pipes.
Sources close to the WAPCo told the Daily Graphic that its board had approved the decision unless the VRA paid the money.
Efforts by the Daily Graphic to get a reaction from the VRA proved futile.
The Chief Executive of the VRA, Mr Kirk Koffie, did not respond to a text message sent to him after he asked that a text message be sent to him, since he was in a meeting.
Sources at the WAPCo said the company was unable to meet its overhead and other operational costs due to the indebtedness of the VRA.
“We cannot finance our operation through the little capitalisation when we have money locked up in Ghana. If Ghana wants the gas, they should pay us to enable us to run effectively,” the source said.
Asked what the implication could be should Ghana or the VRA fail to pay the debt in one tranche, the highly placed source said “if they don’t pay substantially, we will give VRA our product, according to the money they give us. If you owe me GH¢10 and you pay 50Gp, I will give you 50Gp worth of what you want, it’s as simple as that”.
The web of debts
Deep-throat sources at the VRA admitted its indebtedness to the WAPCo but told the Daily Graphic the monies were locked up with the Asogli Power Plant, the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and other independent power producers that were yet to settle their debt to the VRA.
At Asogli Power, another source confirmed its indebtedness to the VRA but also pointed at the ECG, saying that until the ECG settled its indebtedness, it would be difficult to pay the VRA. The ECG offered no comment but wanted to wait until it was able to mobilise the funds from government agencies and corporate and domestic clients.
The 678-kilometre West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) links the existing Escravos-Lagos pipeline at the Nigeria Gas Company’s Itoki Natural Gas Export Terminal in Nigeria and proceeds to a beachhead in Lagos.
From there it moves offshore to Aboadze, with gas delivery laterals from the main line extending to Cotonou (Benin), Lome (Togo) and Tema.
WAGP transports purified natural gas free of heavy hydrocarbons, liquids and water, ideally suited as fuel for power plants and industrial applications.