The plant supplies gas to some thermal plants in the country but will have to be put off for 14 working days, starting January 15, 2016.
Ghana National Gas Company in a letter to stakeholders noted that Atuabo will be shut down for planned routine maintenance.
“The planned maintenance, the second since lean gas and associated liquids production begun at Atuabo, is expected to last approximately fourteen (14) calendar days. The plant has been in operation for more than 8,000 hours since last year.”
According to the letter signed by Corporate Communications Manager, Alfred Ogbamey, the mandatory outage is required by original equipment manufacturers and vendors for maintenance of certain critical components in the gas processing plant on a periodic basis, as well to facilitate warranty assurance on the installed equipment and the validity of our operating insurance cover.
“Ghana Gas is in communication with the Volta River Authority (VRA), the primary downstream lean gas off-taker, and the other product off-takers, as well as the upstream gas supplier, Tullow Ghana Limited, to ensure a smooth implementation and completion of the planned maintenance works,” it said.
Industry players say, the development could worsen the power crisis since Ghana Gas supplies gas to the Volta River Authority, which also supplies to thermal plants in the country.
The Atuabo Gas Processing Plant:
On September 16, 2015, the plant was commission for full operation.
The plant was constructed at a cost of $1 billion from the China Development Bank loan.
Construction began in April, 2012 and completed in August, 2014.
However, the full operation of the plant is expected to ease the power crisis of the country as the plant will process raw gas into liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the country’s major thermal plants.
President Mahama in his last visit to the construction site said the plant will be a game-changer and would empower Ghana’s quest to be a power exporter in the subregion.
Since its commissioning, the plant has run mostly one-third of its design capacity. For over nine months since its commissioning, it has barely run 50 MMscfd as opposed to its full design capacity of 150 MMscfd.
Most people say, this represents huge economic losses which when analyzed and quantified, leaves a lot of questions with few probable answers.