Report by Kwabena Adu Koranteng
Ghana is currently processing about 110 million cubic feet of natural gas from the Jubilee Field in supply to the Takoradi Thermal Plant for power generation.
This has been regarded as a remarkable achievement by the government of Ghana in its quest to ending the power crises that is bedeviling the country but with a huge price being paid by the people of Anokye. The indigenes of Anokye say they cannot sleep at night due to the massive heat emanating from the Gas plant which is situated at the edge of the town.
Besides, they say the texture of the soil they use to plant their cassava, plantain, maize and other commercial crops has changed. They have attributed the low soil quality to the heat that emanate from the gas processing plant and the flaring of gas into the atmosphere.
Kennedy, Asamoah, a native of Anokye and a service personal in an interview during a visit said ?we can?t sleep at night though we live close to the sea. As you can see our houses are built close to the sea but not even the cold breeze is able to overcome the heat generated by the gas plant.At night our rooms become very hot and the heat becomes worse when we switch on the fan. It blows more heat so we end up sleeping on our verandah under mosquito nets. The situation is very terrible and we don?t know what to do. We need help, who can help us?.
Sandra Dadzie is a 46 year old farmer and fish seller at Anokye who was appalled by the noise generated by the gas plant. ?It is extremely bad; the plant generates noise like an engine of an excavator working at site and runs through the night. This combined with the heat waves makes it impossible for us to sleep at night so during the day we become s weak that we are unable to either go to the farm or get to the shore to buy fish to smoke. Now when you go to the farm the cassava sticks are not bearing tubers, the plantains are drying up and the crops are not bearing fruits. Its amazing what we are experiencing here. We need help because we are losing our livelihoods because of that thing called gas? she stated.
In his view, James Anwonzo, a 35 year old fisherman at Anokye said he is been married for five years now and had two children who are four and two years old. ?Since the gas project began a year ago I and my wife have tried to get a third child but we have not been fruitful,. When I checked at the hospital I was told my sperms were light and I suspect that the radiation from the plant is what is haven an effect on my health and based on that I am thinking of relocating?.
The Chief of Esikado, and president of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, Nana Kobina Nketsia in an interview with this reporter as regards the plight of the indigenes said ?initially when government planed to locate the project in between Atuabo and Anokye we warned the indigenes about the dangers that would be posed by the project but they refused to listen to us. They said we were against development and thus preventing development to their communities. They said the project would create jobs for them and their children and infrastructure development and open their communities to the international community. However they failed to factor in the associated dangers which they are experiencing now. it is a problem for all of us and we are consulting the stakeholders to find a solution to the raging problem? he stated
Meanwhile the operations Director of Ghana Gas Company, Engineer Robert Kofi Lartey has said efforts are being made to expand the production plant to receive natural gas from the TEN fields when completed. Currently, he said the gas plant has the capacity to contain 150 million standard cubic feet of natural gas a day but receiving between 102 and 110 million cubic feet a day and supply?s The Volta River Authority?s Plant at Takoradi (Takoradi Thermal plant) 95 million SCF of lean gas after processing to generate electrical energy. The pipelines laid into the sea can transmit 300million standard cubic feet f natural gas a day and so what we have to do is to undertake a retrofitting exercise to expand the storage facilities?
NCR lauds telcos, VAS operators for braving the Dumsor storm
The Network of Communication Reporters (NCR) has lauded the telecom operators and their value added service (VAS) partners for surviving the power crisis and sustaining appreciable quality of service levels and maintaining their staff while other businesses close down and or sack workers.
A statement from the NCR, jointly signed by the Dean, Charles Benoni Okine and Liaison Officer Samuel Dowuona, noted that over the past three years, the NCA quality of service (QoS) reports showed telcos have been recording lesser QoS breaches despite the erratic power supply.
“It is also commendable that no telco has gone on any massive laying off of workers, and NCR checks reveal no telco has any immediate plans to lay off workers due to the ongoing power crisis popularly known as dumsor,” the statement said.
NCR noted that some telcos have reported huge expenses in 2014 alone as a result of the power crisis, and that could have warranted laying off of workers and or increases in tariffs, but the telcos have not done any of that yet.
“While we commend the telcos, we will also like to acknowledge the tenacity of the young mobile VAS providers, some of which reported spending not less than GHC10,000 every month on fuel to run generators to sustain their services to Ghanaians,” the statement said.
Equipment vendors and technology partners of the telcos also reported delays in installing equipment due to dumsor, but they had to work extra hours just to meet targets and sustain services to Ghanaians.
“It has not been an all smooth sail as some telcos continue to experience some outages in some areas across country but the telcos have largely braved the storm and that is laudable,” NCR said.
NCR believes that while telcos are held to strict key performance indicators and fined heavily when they miss those targets, the authorities will also be held responsible for their inability to resolve this seeming energy crisis crippling businesses including the telcos.
NCR also believes it would be fair for the regulator, the tax collector and government as a whole to consider the full impact of the power crisis on the telecom industry and find a way to compensate industry players in the form of tax rebates and or subsidies. This will help cover part of the huge loses they are incurring.
Atuabo Gas Plant has capacity to process more gas from TEN Fields ? Lartey
The Atuabo Gas Processing Plant has capacity to process additional gas from the Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) Fields, Director of Operations for the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) said on Thursday.
Robert Kofi Lartey said here, 326 kms west of the national capital during a familiarization tour undertaken by members of the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) to the only gas processing facility in the West African country.
The gas processing plant, constructed by Chinese company Sinopec, Lartey observed currently processes a little under 120 million scf of gas a day from the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Kwame Nkrumah vessel located on the Jubilee Field, off the coast of Takoradi, capital of the Western Region (Province).
Out of the figure, 95 million of lean gas is supplied daily to the Volta River Authority (VRA) at Aboadze, near here to power its turbines to generate electricity while the remaining coming out as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is supplied to Quantum Terminal Limited, a local firm for onward distribution to the consumers.
He observed the GNGC expected to increase its processing of gas from the Jubilee Field from its current figure to 150 million scf a day.
Ghana has discovered additional oil fields; TEN projects located in the Deepwater Tano license covering an area of more than 800 sq. kms and lies around 20 kms west of the Jubilee field.
The TEN projects were expected to deliver first oil in 2016, with a plateau production rate of 80,000 barrels of oil per day.
Future development of gas resources at TEN has been anticipated following the commencement of oil start-up.
Ing. Lartey emphasized the GNGC was designed originally to process 300 million scf of gas daily and that the company will only do retrofitting of its pipelines to contain the additional capacity it has to handle from the TEN Fields.
image source: accrareport.com
?Our gas processing project was designed to process 300 million standard cubic feet daily. All that we will do when the TEN projects come on board is to do retrofitting. We have already laid our pipelines and we will not do any major work to process that quantity,? he said.
Utility Supervisor of the GNGC, Michael Kwabena Mireku observed safety issues were at the core of the company.
Among the interventions put in place by the GNGC to ensure the safety of the plant, workers and community around include installation of fire detectors, firefighting equipment, water hydrants and the establishment of fire service station as well as employing complete combustion in flaring its waste.
The Sinopec Ghana Gas Processing Plant whose construction commenced in August 2012 was commissioned for full operations at last quarter of 2014.