Blackout looms in Benin, Togo and Ghana as WAPCo shuts down gas pipeline system
Following a loss of pressure around the Lome segment of its pipeline in the early hours of yesterday, the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) operator of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) system transporting gas from Nigeria through Benin republic, Togo, to Ghana has shut down the pipeline system.
In a telephone chat with our correspondent the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Harriet Wereko-Brobby disclosed that WAPCo has subsequently stopped all gas deliveries to its onshore stations and is working closely with the government agencies and other relevant organisations to investigate the cause of loss of pressure and to ensure safety while rectifying the situation.
As at the time of filing this report, the cause of the loss of pressure has not been ascertain. According to Wereko-Brobby, the cause of the loss of pressure has not yet been confirmed noting that full investigation into the problem has commenced immediately.
The 678 kilometer West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) links into the existing Escravos-Lagos pipeline at the Nigeria Gas Company’s Itoki Natural Gas Export Terminal in Nigeria and proceeds to a beachhead in Lagos. From there it moves offshore to Takoradi, in Ghana, with gas delivery laterals from the main line extending to Cotonou (Benin), Lome (Togo) and Tema (Ghana).
With the shut-down, a source close to the company said Cotonou, Lome, and Tema in Ghana will not be supplied gas pending when investigation into the loss of pressure is completed.
He said “The safest thing for the company to do is to shut down it gas pipeline system. When investigation into the cause of the loss of pressure is completed, the company will bounce back to full operation.”
“Our customers will not have gas and this means that some of the power stations in Lome, Cotonou and Ghana may suffer power loss,” he said.
The source further disclosed that the Escravos-Lagos pipeline system has a capacity of 800 MMscfd, and the WAPCo system will initially carry a volume of 170 MMscfd and peak over time at a capacity of 460MMscfd.
Biztellers was able to gather that the main offshore pipeline runs East to West at an average water depth of 35 metres though some sections such as the south east of Ghana, south of Lome and the Benin – Nigerian frontier ranges between 50 to 70 meters. The ranges of the Tees from the coast are approximately as follows: Cotonou – 7 nautical miles (13 Km), Lome – 10.3 nautical miles (19 Km), Tema -7.8. nautical miles (14 Km).
The West African Gas Pipeline Company limited (WAPCo) is a limited liability company that owns and operates the West African Gas Pipeline. The company has its headquarters in Accra, Ghana, with an office in Badagry, Nigeria, and field offices in Cotonou – Benin, Lome – Togo, Tema and Takoradi, both in Ghana.