General News of Saturday, 22 December 2012
Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, on Friday added his voice to that of President John Mahama for speedy repair of the damaged portion of the West Africa Gas Pipeline to restore the transportation of gas to power the generation of electricity in Ghana.
He said the failure to quickly fix the damaged pipeline reduced the generation of electricity by 200 megawatts, forcing Ghana to rely on more expensive, but less efficient crude oil to power electricity.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur made the call during a courtesy call on him by Energy Ministers and chief stakeholders in the West Africa Gas Pipeline, led by Ghana’s Energy Minister Dr Oteng Adjei, at his office at the Flagstaff House, in Accra.
The call, which was to seek what they called his “directive support” comes ahead of the meeting of the Energy Ministers and other stakeholders from Nigeria, the main supplier of gas to Benin, Togo and Ghana, the three beneficiary countries of gas from Nigeria under the West Africa Gas Pipeline.
The West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAGPCo), operator of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP), last August declared a force majeure on its gas operation as a result of vandalized pipelines in Lome, Togo.
The pipelines were shut in August after the Togolese Navy informed the company of a cross fire that ensued between the Navy and a suspected vessel that was seen around the anchorage of the Lome waters on August 28.
Ghana is yet to realize full supply despite assurances from company that it would resume full operation of gas supply to its clients before end of the year.
President Mahama, en route to Equatorial Guinea for the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States conference last week made a stop-over in Nigeria, and in discussions with Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan made an appeal to his Nigerian counterpart to use his influence to get the pipelines back into operation.
President Mahama stressed it was important to repair the pipeline so as to ensure continued flow of Nigerian gas to Ghana and other countries utilizing the gas for electricity generation.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur expressed disappointment with the delay, which he said had attracted cynical comment from some quarters.
He urged the Minister to find a way to quickly fix the problem, stressing cooperation among the participating countries to get the gas going.