The Ghana Gas Company says the first gas from the Jubilee Field is expected to be delivered to Volta River Authority’s Aboadze thermal plant by the end of February 2013.
Victor Sunu-Attah, the Project Development Director of the Company who gave the hint said: “Whatever quantities Jubilee is able to provide for the time being will go to the Aboadze Thermal Plant for power generation.” This is expected to cut down by half the use of light crude oil in thermal power generation at Aboadze.
The site had been cleared, pipelines were being laid, and heavy duty trucks were carting red earth to and fro when a group of journalists visited Atuabo and Anorchie, host communities of the Gas project in the Western Region, last Friday. Chinese engineers supported by some locals were seen at various points, frantically working to bed-in onshore pipelines.
Work is also ongoing at the site for the Gas processing Plant. The plant, Mr. Sunu-Attah noted, was designed to process an initial 150 million standard cubic feet a day of gas.
The associated raw gas production profile from the Jubilee Field development plan estimates a maximum 120 million standard cubic feet a day of gas for the initial phase. This is expected to be maintained over a three-year period.
“There are a number of independent power producers asking us if they can come in. We tell them no. If Jubilee can give us more than what Aboadze can take, then they can come in,” he observed.
Time, he said, is of the essence because gas has to be evacuated from the Jubilee Field as soon as possible in order not to “jeopardise” the wells.
“Right now, Jubilee’s production is going up and up to meet their target and we need to evacuate gas so that they can keep it at that level.”
Government made it clear at the onset that it won’t allow the flaring of gas from the country’s oil fields, especially when the country needs the resource. After some amount of flaring initially, the gas has been re-injected into the reservoirs. But this can be done only for a while.
“Jubilee cannot sustain long periods of gas injection without damaging the reservoirs and curtailing production,” Mr. Sunu-Attah explained.
On the other hand, erratic power supply has recently resulted in a load-shedding exercise across the country, due partly to the unreliability of supply from Nigeria through the West African Gas Project.
Liquefied gas for domestic use has equally been in short supply across the country. Mr. Sunu-Attah however assured that the coming of gas from Jubilee will bring about some reliability in power supply “so that industrialists can plan on power”.
Domestic users of gas, though, will have to wait a little longer, said Mr. Sunu-Attah. He explained that in the medium- to long-term, the country seeks to build a fully integrated and profitable gas industry to serve the Ghanaian and export markets.
The goal is also to attract private investment in Ghana Gas through strategic partnerships and listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange, and to promote investments in the petrochemical industry.