Work on the Western Corridor Gas Development Project is well advanced, as this will ensure that the country is able to pipe and process natural gas liquids (NGL) and condensates using offshore facilities.
Most importantly, the capacity of the natural gas processing plant at Atuabo in the Western Region will have been increased to 350m standard cubic feet a day (mmscfd) when the phase two is completed, more than double the current capacity of 150mmscfd. This would ensure that the processing plant is able to absorb and process gas from the recently completed Sankofa-Gye Nyame field in addition to the gas it is currently receiving and processing from the Jubilee and TEN fields.
This is crucial in that the Sankofa-Gye Nyame field, unlike the two older ones is essentially a non-associated gas field with associated crude oil rather than the other way round. It has an estimated 1.45 trillion cubic feet of non-associated gas and, having the capacity to generate 170 mmscfd, started production in mid-2018.
Importantly, Ghana has already installed the capacity for reverse gas flow through the West African Gas Pipeline from the Aboadze power enclave in the Western Region to the eastern part of the country where demand is highest. However, Atuabo’s capacity expansion under the ongoing Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure Project needs to be completed for the Sankofa field’s gas to be processed and used. Currently it is being used to process gas from Jubilee (150 mmscfd) and TEN (45mmscfd).
When the expansion is completed Ghana will have no need to import gas for its power generation, nor will it need to continue importing relatively expensive light crude oil for this purpose either.
A new gas plant under construction will have a storage capacity for approximately 15 days, and a jetty loading and unloading system to export NGL and condensates to Lema using ships.
According to the 2018 Reconciliation Report on the Petroleum Holding Fund, the total monetary disbursement to the ICT (the Enhanced Surveillance Project) and Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure Project as at 31st December, 2018, was US$1,166.29million.
Of this amount, the China Development Bank (CDB) disbursed US$991.34million while Government disbursed US$174.94 million. The disbursement represents 85 percent and 15 percent, respectively of the total project cost.
The project, which is currently under its second phase, will provide a safer alternative to the current use of existing road tankers. It will eliminate the current practice of flaring and reinjection of gas into the reservoirs.
A US$1 billion loan facility was secured for the project from the Chinese Development Bank (CDB), as part of CDB’s Comprehensive Project Finance Facility for Ghana amounting to US$3bn, through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP).
Early phase of the project
The phase one included an offshore pipeline comprising a 12 inches diameter and 45km-long shallow water pipeline and a 12inche diameter and 14km-long deep-water pipeline connecting FPSO Kwame Nkrumah of the Jubilee field to the processing plant at the shore in Atuabo within the Ellembele district.
The onshore pipeline system includes a 20 inches diameter and 111km-long main pipeline stretching between the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant and Volta River Authority’s (VRA) power plant at Aboazi in the Takoradi metropolis.
It also includes approximately 75km of lateral pipeline stretching between the gas distribution station in Esiama, midway of the main pipeline, and a regulating and metering station in Prestea.
By Joshua W. Amlanu