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01.08.2005 Business & Finance

Offshore pipeline construction begins on August 23

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Accra, Aug. 1, GNA - The laying of pipes of the West Africa Gas Pipeline (WAGP) Project in Ghana, which began with concrete coating of pipelines in Tema, is tentatively scheduled to begin from Takoradi on August 23.

Mr Ronald Wooden, Project Director, told the Ghana News Agency on Monday. He was speaking after Mr Bala Nimadu, Senior Project Engineer of the Project, told a forum held in Accra to educate stakeholders on the impact of the Project that eight shiploads of pipes were expected in Tema between now and November.

Mr Nimadu said about 52,000 pipes were to be shipped to Ghana for concrete weight coating before being transported to Takoradi where offshore construction would start.

The forum was also to identify challenges of offshore construction as it affected stakeholders with emphasis on safety. It was also to establish a transparent communication route for expressing offshore related opinion and to enlist the support of stakeholders to enable the work to be completed successfully and on schedule.

An average of 200 pipes would be concrete-coated per day using the two concrete-coating plants in Tema. Coating will run until the end of January 2006.

Mr Nimadu said the 560 million-dollar Project was scheduled for completion in December 2006. It stretches over 678 kilometres from the existing Escravos-Lagos pipeline to Takoradi with gas delivery to Cotonou, Lome and Tema.

He said there would be some restricted areas of about two kilometres radius where fishing activities would not be permitted since the team would work 24 hours. There would be lights on the barges, which could be spotted about 30 kilometres away. Mr Nimadu said the light could attract fish, and advised fishermen to avoid fishing in those areas in order not to come into conflict with the Project.

He said Chevron Texaco West Africa Gas Pipeline Limited owns 38.2 per cent shares in the Project, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation 26.0 per cent, Shell Overseas holdings 18.8 per cent and Takoradi Power Company 17.0 per cent.

Mr Kofi Asante Okai, External Affairs Manager, said the Project would not affect the livelihood of fishermen, as fishing nets would not entangle the pipe.

He said the WAGP had dialogued with the national fishing authority to educate its members, especially inshore and canoe owners, on the Project.

Mr Robert Famurewa, Business Development and Communication Research Manager, said the pipelines had a lifespan of 50 years and above, adding that WAGP had a 20-year gas supply agreement subject to renewal.