Gas supply from the Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) to the Aboadze power enclave near Sekondi-Takoradi in the Western Region was reduced considerably over the weekend, leading to the loss of 230 megawatts (MW) of power.
The reduction in gas supply was occasioned by challenges confronting the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, which compelled the Jubilee partners to reduce gas supply to Ghana Gas from 87 million standard cubic feet (scf-d) a day to 47 million scf-d.
The situation, according to a source at Tullow Oil, the lead operator in the Jubilee fields, was largely attributed to bad weather conditions, since the defective turret was no longer in control of the anchoring system of the vessel.
Confirming the reduction in gas supply yesterday, the Communications Manager of Ghana Gas, Mr Alfred Ogbamey, told the Daily Graphic: “We’re receiving 46.7 million scf of wet gas from our upstream suppliers and supplying 46 million scf of lean gas to our main downstream off-taker based on availability and nominations for the period.”
The turret on the FPSO vessel has become faulty and the Jubilee partners have indicated that they will spend more than $345m to fix the problem by 2017.
The situation has compelled the partners to cut down gas production from the Jubilee fields.
The development is likely to affect the frantic efforts to solve the problems facing power generation and distribution.
Energy generation is also likely to be affected by a shortage of light crude oil for the plants at Aboadze, since current stock is said to have reached the minimum level and is yet to be replenished.
According to a source at the Volta River Authority (VRA), the reduction in gas supply, compounded by shortage of light crude oil, had led to a corresponding loss of about 230MW of electricity from the Aboadze thermal power enclave currently.
That aside, it said, the plants that ran on both light crude oil and gas were on the verge of being shut down due to the limited fuel.
The situation, according to engineers, could result in more power outages in the coming days and weeks.
Currently, the source said, the VRA was unable to generate power from some of its turbines, including those of the AMERI Plant that ran solely on gas.
It said the situation might worsen the precarious energy deficit that had seen a reversal in the resolution of power challenges in some parts of the country as a result of delayed light crude oil (LCO) delivery from Nigeria.
The VRA and the Ministry of Power are set to meet on the issue this week.
A source at the VRA told the Daily Graphic that the unpredictability of gas supply had been a challenge from the beginning of February this year when the Tullow field developed mechanical and engineering challenges with its turret bearing.