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29.06.2005 Business & Finance

Gas Pipeline Project on course - Prof. Oquaye


Accra, June 29, GNA - Professor Mike Oquaye, Minister of Energy on Wednesday said the Ministerial Steering Committee of the West African Gas Pipeline Project has signed and issued pipeline licences on behalf of their respective governments to the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) to enable it to finalise preparations for the impending construction of the 590 million US dollars regional gas transmission system. He said the ministers reviewed progress of work on the project since the final investment decision was taken by the sponsors in December 2004, and deemed worked done to date as satisfactory and also discussed and resolved all relevant outstanding matters at the meeting.

Prof. Oquaye said these in an answer to a question by Mr. Joseph Yaani Labik, IND-Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo as to the status of the West Africa Gas Pipeline Project.

"Already over 190 kilometres of the pipe have been manufactured and the first shipment has arrived in Ghana."

"Important strides have been made in the past few months with launching for commencement of the construction phase of the project on Thursday, June 9 2005 by President J.A. Kufuor."

He said the West African Gas Pipeline would be a 678 kilometres onshore and off-shore high pressure transmission pipeline, which would transmit natural gas from Nigeria to customers in Benin, Ghana and Togo. The pipeline would be built, owned and operated by the WAPCo whose current shareholders are; Chevron Texaco West African Gas Pipeline Limited 38.8 per cent, Nigerian National Petroleum Company 26 per cent, Shell Overseas Holding Limited 18.8 per cent and Takoradi Power Company Limited (Ghana) 17 per cent.

The Minister said 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 cost and open access to the pipeline enabling the transportation of indigenous gas, once discovered.

In addition, it would provide an environmentally cleaner source of fuel leading to reduction of green house gas emissions and the development of a secondary gas market for industrial and domestic use.