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08.06.2005 Business & Finance

Kufuor to launch construction phase of Gas Pipeline Project

By GNA

Accra, June 8, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor would on Thursday formally launch the commencement of the construction phase of the West African Gas Pipeline Project on Thursday at the pipe cement coating plant site for the project at the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Tema.

"Very important strides have been made in the past few months (of the project)," a statement from the Ministry of Energy said. "This should be a vital milestone in the industrial development of Ghana," it added.

The West African Gas Pipeline Project is a unique effort by four African States - Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Benin - to tap gas resources from Nigeria for the mutual benefit of all the parties. The Ministerial Steering Committee of the West African Gas Pipeline Project, which met in Abuja, Nigeria, on April 21, 2005 reviewed progress of work on the project since the Final Investment Decision (FID) was taken by the sponsors in December 2004, and deemed work done to date as satisfactory.

"All relevant outstanding matters were resolved at the meeting." The Ministers signed and issued Pipeline Licenses on behalf of their respective Governments to the West African Gas Pipeline company (WAPCo) to enable it finalise preparations for the impending construction of the 590 million US dollars regional gas transmission system.

Already over 190 kilometres of the pipe have been manufactured and the first shipment has arrived in Ghana. The West African Gas Pipeline will be a 678 kilometres onshore and offshore high pressure transmission pipeline which will transmit natural gas from Nigeria to customers in Benin, Ghana and Togo. The pipeline will be built, owned and operated by the West African Gas Pipeline Company, whose current shareholders are; Chevron Texaco West African Gas Pipeline Limited (38.8 per cent) Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (26 per cent), Shell Overseas Holdings Limited (18.8 per cent) and Takoradi Power Company Limited (Ghana) 17.0 per cent.

Some of the benefits that are expected to accrue to Ghana from the project include reduced cost of thermal electricity generation through reduced fuel and maintenance costs, open access to the pipeline enabling the transportation of indigenous gas, once discovered. The rest are environmentally cleaner source of fuel leading to reduction of greenhouse emissions and the development of secondary gas market for industrial and domestic use.

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