The Volta River Authority (VRA) has stated categorically that natural gas from the Atuabo gas processing plant that is intended to power its three thermal plants at Aboadze in the Shama district in the Western Region will not end power rationing in the country.
The VRA rather explained that, gas from Atuabo, would only substitute fuel used in power generation and not necessarily increase the amount of power to be generated.
The authority made its position known when the Government Assurances Committee (GAC) of Parliament visited the Aboadze thermal plant complex to have a first-hand view about the gas processing project and its subsequent link up the thermal plants.
Answering questions from members of the committee in respect of assurances made by the Ministry of Energy on power to be generated upon the completion of the gas plant project, the Maintenance Manager of the VRA, Mr. Stephen Owusu debunked reports that the completion of the gas plant was an end to the country’s power crisis.
He said availability of gas would only reduce the cost of power generation since gas was a cheaper commodity as compared to crude oil, adding that, “Gas is also environmentally friendlier than oil and has less impact on our equipment.”
Ing. Owusu said the VRA facilities at Aboadze were ready to receive gas as and when the Atuabo plant did the processing and fed the Aboadze with gas.
T2 expansion works
Meanwhile, the General Manager of Takoradi International Company (TICO), operators of the T2 thermal plant, Mr Osafo Adjei said though the T2 was currently undergoing expansion works, the plant, was in a position to receive gas to generate electricity.
The T2 thermal plant is currently undergoing expansion and conversion from a simple to combined cycle power plant with a steam turbine that is expected to increase the total power generation of the plant to 330 megawatts from the current 220 megawatts.
Mr Adjei gave the assurance that, substantial completion of the expansion works was slated for November this year while the commercial operation date for the expanded plant would be the close of the year.
However, he said, challenges such as customs delay in clearance of imported equipment and the unavailability of water for steam blowing had caused undue delay in the expansion project.
Visit to Atuabo
The committee members, who also visited the Atuabo gas processing plant on Friday, were informed by the Ghana National Gas Company that the next stage of the project was just linking the plant to the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah and the VRA’s plants at Aboadze.
Mr Emmanuel Bedzrah, the Chairman of the committee called on the various institutions in the energy sector to be mindful of their utterances, with regards to what information they gave out, since most Ghanaians had formed the opinion that the completion of the gas project at Atuabo would completely put an end to the country’s energy crisis.