Gas today flowed from the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah to the Atuabo gas processing plant notwithstanding the serious concerns raised by the Energy Commission and the Wood Group.

Dr. Ben K.B Asante, Director of Technical Operations at the Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas), confirmed this to Joy FM’s Top Story and suggested that concerns raised by the two groups were misplaced.   

The Energy Commission over the weekend wrote to Ghana Gas, asking it to halt introducing gas into the plant. This follows a technical review of the plant in Atuabo by the Wood Group. It raised issues about the mechanical completion of the Gas Processing Plant, claiming its mechanical completion dossiers are sub-standard and don’t fully confirm completion of the project.

“For the avoidance of doubt, this means that until Ghana National Gas receives written advice to the contrary, natural gas should not under any circumstances be introduced into any section of the Processing Plant,” the Commission wrote to Ghana Gas on November 8, 2010.

Ghana Gas has formally responded to the Commission’s letter, Dr.  Asante said.

He indicated that Ghanaians could disregard the concerns and rather celebrate the first flow of gas into the plant after months of delay.

“As of 2 o’clock this afternoon, I was first to witness the arrival of pig, essentially a mechanical device use to clean the pipeline and sometimes help you to gather information about the inside peripheral of the pipeline.

“Now when the pig arrives, you know that it actually transverses the entire length of that pipeline, and it tells you that on the arrival of the last pig, behind it is the gas. And that will signify the [beginning of delivery] of the first gas.”

The Energy Commission’s letter to Ghana Gas “has nothing at all to do with the current status of our early phase of the plant”, Dr. Asante insisted.

He explained that the plant is being installed in multiphase basis, and the first phase has been complete since August.

“The Ghana Gas was proactively looking to take advantage of the relative inactivity at the plant, after mechanical completion, whilst waiting, of course for the commissioning gas to come in to progress on some future works.

“Now to be specific, Ghana Gas installed the piping connection near the LPG – liquefied petroleum gas – storage area to allow for the off take of incremental LGPs expected from the TEN field in 2016.

“So precisely, we are doing just future work while we are just sitting there with our contractor. Ghana Gas was mindful of the upcoming introduction of gas in the system on Monday, which is today, and we duly completed this installation on Friday. This connection for the future has no impact or whatsoever on the current system’s ability to safely receive gas and handle current LPG flows.”