Accra, Dec. 24, GNA - Shareholders of the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAPACo) have taken a Final Investment Decision (FID) for the implementation of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) Project that ushers in the construction phase of the project.
A statement issued in Accra on Friday after the shareholders' meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, said the FID completion process has included each shareholder making available the funding for the construction phase and the award of the major construction contracts.
The statement said before the actual start of construction, detailed final project design would be carried out by WAPCo in collaboration with the engineering, procurement and construction contractors.
It would take about two years to complete the construction of the pipeline and operational start-up is expected by December 2006. "The FID signifies the endorsement of the harmonised investment environment for the development of the pipeline among the four countries."
The statement said the FID announcement also recognises the tremendous and cooperative efforts made by the implementing countries, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo, the shareholders and WAPCo Management, local communities as well as a wide range of other stakeholder groups to move the pipeline project forward.
The WAGP is a proposed 678 kilometres onshore and offshore high-pressure transitional pipeline, which would transmit natural gas from Nigeria to customers in Benin, Ghana and Togo.
WAGP would be built, owned and operated by WAPCo whose shareholders are Chevron Texaco West African Gas Pipeline Ltd (38.2 per cent), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (26 per cent), Shell Overseas Holdings Limited (18.8 per cent) and Takoradi Power Company Ltd (17 per cent).
The projected estimated at 590 million dollars has had a long development period dating back to 1995 when the Heads of State of Ghana, Nigeria, Benin and Togo entered into a Heads of Agreement under the auspices of ECOWAS for the joint project.
The project is to make available clean, abundant, stable and cost effective natural gas supply from Nigeria as fuel for power generation and industrial development in Ghana, Togo and Benin.
It is also expected to accelerate regional economic integration in the sub-region and establish a reliable energy infrastructure to attract further investments into the sub-region.