Independent technical auditors from the Wood Group are raising serious safety concerns about the Ghana Gas Processing Plant.

The Energy Commission over the weekend wrote a letter to Ghana Gas, asking it to halt introducing gas into the plant.

A Wood Group presentation at a technical review meeting intercepted by Joy News also raises concerns about the mechanical completion of the Gas Processing Plant.

When Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur visited the Gas infrastructure project in August this year, Ghana Gas officials told him the project was 99.78% complete.

They announced gas would flow by the end of August because the only thing left was a tie-in connection to the offshore pipeline to the FPSO.

The tie-in was completed last week after some level of concession by the Jubilee partners, insiders said.

Gas was expected to flow this week, but the Energy Commission, which is a regulator of the industry, has warned against introducing gas into the plant.

In a letter to Ghana Gas, dated November 8, the Commission said contrary to assurances by Ghana Gas that the project was completed, work is still ongoing on the Gas Processing Plant.

The Energy Commission, therefore, ordered Ghana Gas to provide it with information and warned, “Ghana National Gas Company does not have permission to introduce hydrocarbon gas into any section of the Gas Processing Plant.

“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 added. 

The Wood Group, which is undertaking a technical audit of the Gas infrastructure project also raised serious safety and completion concerns about the project. 

In a report presented at a technical review meeting held last Thursday, the Group said no “Preservation Register has been made available to prove that the equipment has adequately been preserved and thus will function when required”.

They also said the mechanical completion dossiers are sub-standard and don’t fully confirm completion of the project. 

The Wood Group is also questioning the validity of certain pressure safety valve certificates. The group also questioned the competency of personnel of Ghana Gas and Sinopec on some aspects of the plant. 

Joy News sources close to the project say there are issues with the plant and if they are not dealt with properly, its operation will be risky. 

Initial plans to start with 30 million standard cubic feet of gas have been revised to 16 million for a plant that has the capacity to process 150 million standard cubic feet. Sources say the high-risk nature of the project accounts for the drop. 

With thees concerns, it is unclear when the project will be commissioned and the much awaited gas from Atuaboto made available to power producers.