The Ministry of Energy has announced that the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo), which operates the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP), will today shut down its offshore pipeline from Nigeria to Ghana for two months.
The shutdown is to make way for a clean-up and inspection exercise of the offshore pipeline between the two countries.
The exercise is often referred to as “pigging” in the pipeline industry and the process along the West African shoreline is expected to be completed by March 21.
The Head of Communications and Public Affairs of the Ministry of Energy, Nana Kofi Oppong-Damoah, in a statement to the media, said the exercise was expected to temporarily limit the availability of gas at the Tema, Lome and Cotonou offtake facilities.
The statement said there was likely to be limited gas supply for power generation to plants in Tema during the period.
The ministry explained, however, that it was collaborating with the Ministry of Finance and other key players in the Ghana’s gas-to-power sector to make provision to mitigate the impact on the country’s grid system and ensure reliable and stable power supply.
According to the ministry, the pigging exercise is part of a customary maintenance activity intended to protect the integrity of WAPCo’s offshore pipeline and ensure safe operations.
The activity is also consistent with regulatory requirements which is important for maintaining the pipeline to ensure efficient and reliable operations.
The ministry further explained that the offshore pipeline, which transported natural gas within the four West African States of Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana, was the main critical asset of the company.
“In addition to cleaning the pipeline of debris, pigging will provide critical information on the condition of the pipeline and improve decisions on effective maintenance of the channel, prolong its lifespan and improve the safety of the pipeline operations,” the statement said.