"A very big disaster" averted as 1.5km Tema fuel pipeline is damaged

"A very big disaster" averted as 1.5km Tema fuel pipeline is damaged
Source: Ghana|myjoyonline.com
Date: 09-04-2019 Time: 12:04:03:pm

A 1.5km fuel pipeline behind the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDco) building at Tema was damaged Sunday night in a case of suspected sabotage.

The pipeline, belonging to petroleum company, Sirius Petroleum Services, was torched by some unknown persons, JoyNews’ Ernest Manu observed.

The pipelines were under construction and are expected to transport fuel from a tank farm of the company right into the Tema Oil Refinery in the Greater Accra region.

This is the second destruction to power supply installations following the collapse of GRIDco’s 16,000 kilovolts high-tension tower at the VALCO Smelter Transmission site in Tema.

Police found the bolts and nuts holding the tower into a concrete platform had been removed.

While police investigations continue, investigators have a fresh case of the damage to the pipeline behind GRIDco headquarters in Tema.

“I don’t understand why somebody would want to do such a thing”, Chief Engineer Technician in charge of transmission, Bernard Tekpor, told reporters after a round of inspection.

Although fuel is yet to pass through the pipeline, Tekpor said the burning of the pipeline could have led to a “very big disaster” because the underlying area is a network of active pipelines.

“You can imagine the magnitude,” he painted a picture of danger averted.  Tema is a Ghana’s eastern energy enclave with several independent power producers based there.

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The engineer explained difficulties in patrolling a vast land under which runs important pipelines. There is increased public attention on Ghana’s energy infrastructure following a resurging problem of erratic power supply.

The Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu,  screamed the collapse of the high-tension tower was the work of political saboteurs.

Since then, GRIDco has been working to mount the tower again. Bernard Tekpor said the collapse affected two lines out of seven in the area.

But beyond a minor disruption, the fallen tower did not cause any power outages, he said, explaining the remaining lines had enough capacity to take on the kilovolts lost.

The Joy News reporter witnessed works underway to mount another tower. But the destructions, he said, is having a toll on the company.

The whole game that is going on is actually overwhelming all of us,” Tekpor said.