The Energy Minister, Peter Amewu says the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) Reverse Flow Project will now be completed in June 2019.
This is after the former Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko gave assurances that the project was on course and would be completed by the second quarter of 2018.
Reverse Flow Project is aimed at transporting dense gas from the Aboadze power area to the gas powered plants in Tema, Asogli and Car Power anytime the supply from WAPCo was interrupted.
The 150-kilometre project was conceived by the previous Mahama-led administration as a catalyst to finding a solution to the intermittent disruption in gas supply through the WAPCo facility; blamed on various factors including attacks on the pipe by terrorists.
Currently, gas from oilfields in the Western coast terminates at the Aboadze thermal enclave in the Western Region.
This means that gas from the oil and gas fields offshore Cape Three Points in the Western Region is currently not available for use by thermal plants sited in Tema; hence the need for the construction of a reverse gas pipeline between Aboadze and Tema.
The project is already five months late but will be delayed one more year.
The WAGP supplys natural gas from Nigeria's Escravos region of Niger Delta area to Benin, Togo and Ghana.
Mr Amewu in an interview with Evans Mensah on PM Express said although the bypass has been completed, certain technical difficulties have stalled the Reverse Flow Project.
“The project is behind schedule but the contractor has been brought to the Ministry to explain the reasons for the delay. One of the reasons was the specifications of the pipe. They got to Nigeria and a pipe was approved but at the time of usage, they realised it didn’t fit the specifications so we rejected that pipe and they had to look for an alternative ant that has prolonged the period.
“Another reason was that the pylons and the shipment was going to take some time but what we are trying to do is to shorten that duration and so these are the reasons that have prolonged the completion period. We have now put the completion period to June next year,” he added.
The Minister has, however, apologised for the intermittent power outages being experienced across the country.
He assured that the Ministry is dealing with the issue and denied that it was due to financial challenges as the Minority has claimed.
“As a government and Energy Minister, I want to say sorry to Ghanaians especially those who have experienced this period of intermittent power supply. As a Minister, I am responsible and I take the blame.
This has nothing to do with financial or planning system but a mere coincidence of events that occurred as a result of contingencies that were unforeseen,” Mr. Amewu added.
But Emmanuel Buah the minister in the Mahama-led administration under whose tenure the project was initiated is disappointed in government and Mr. Amewu for failing to complete the project as scheduled.
He is baffled that the new administration did not put any effort into completing the project even after all the work that needed to be done was laid out before the left power in 2016.
“We are where we are because this government and the Minister of Energy did not really take this issue of making sure the Reverse Flow was a critical item. The Minister should have taken full responsibility for the delay,” Mr. Buah said.
He added the implications of the lack of the Reverse Flow on the supply of power in the country is enormous and hopes that the country will not be plunged into another power crisis in its absence.