After seven years since the discovery of oil and gas reserves, Ghana's gas infrastructure will be ready for commissioning this August, the Ghana National Gas company has said.
The gas project which has been punctuated by delays and postponements is now 99.78% ready, Director of projects at the GNGC Ben Asante, told Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah Arthur.
Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur was there on a working visit last Wednesday.
The new August date comes after the company missed its announced deadline of April 2014.
The Vice President was told, the delays were because engineers have had to run some 1,200 tests and follow-up adjustments.
The announcement that the project is near complete confirms the Energy Minister's expressed hope that Ghana will get gas by September.
The impact of having gas supply among Ghana's energy options cannot be under estimated.
According to the Energy Minister, Emmanuel Kofi Buah, "the future of our electricity is going to be thermal generation. Those thermal plants need a lot of gas".
Ghana has been suffering erratic power supply for the past two years.
"120million cubic feet of gas is going to give us 400 megawatts of power...cheap...there will be reduction in tariffs".
Dr Ben Asante added, some of the products to be expected from the Ghana Gas outfit are lean gas, LPGs, Pentanes and condensates which according to him should meet 76% of the country’s gas and energy needs.
The Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure Project is expected to support the supply of fertilisers (ammonia and urea), and begin industrialization in the salt, alumina, petro-chemicals such as plastics, methanol
He also noted in his presentation that with the Ghana Gas coming on stream, some 500 million dollars a year will be saved by the state.
The initial revenue expected to accrue to the company is estimated at 0.5 billion dollars yearly, he said.
Dr. Ben Asante said as much as the company is ready for take-off at the end of this month, this also depends on some external factors including readiness of its partners such as Tullow and the Volta River Authority.
He said they have been given some concrete assurances. Road networks in the area would also have to be well developed, he said, pointing out the Krisan- Tikobo route as one of the road networks crucial to the Gas Company’s take off.
His team, he said, has a short term plan to rehabilitate some of these roads and even as they work on long term constructions.
In his assessment, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur said as much as he is skeptical when it comes to engineers and timelines, he still believes a lot of work has been done and especially noted that he was impressed with the number of Ghanaians working on the project.
The GNGC was established in 2011 to develop the infrastructure needed to utilise gas freely flowing from the Jubilee oil fields in the Western Region.