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09.08.2005 Business & Finance

Laying of pipelines for WAGP to begin this month

GNA

Aboadze (W/R) August 9, -GNA- The laying of off-shore pipelines on the coast of Takoradi for the West African Gas Pipeline Project (WAGP) would begin on August 23 this year.

Mr. Bala Nmadu, Senior Project Engineer of the Horizon Offshore Marine Construction Limited, contractors for the off-shore project, announced on Tuesday at Aboadze near Takoradi.

He was speaking at a Stakeholder Education Forum on the project attended by fishermen, marine officials, the Navy, officials of the Volta River Authority, Takoradi Power Company Limited and the media. Mr Nmadu said off-shore constructions works on the coast of Tema would start on October 10 this year.

He said laying of pipelines at Takoradi and Tema would be completed by December.

Mr Nmadu said the construction of the pipelines is a hazardous work and the company wants to carry it out with minimum injuries, fatalities and deaths.

Mr Nmadu said the construction barges of the company would be well lit at night and the light would attract fish to them. He advised fishermen against going near the barges to fish as this could endanger their lives and destroy their canoes and boats. Mr Nmadu said the company would not pay compensation to fishermen whose boats and fishing gear are destroyed or who lost their lives as a result of fishing close to the barges.

He said fishing nets thrown into areas near the barges could make the work of divers who go under the sea to lay pipelines difficult. Mr Nmadu said Merchant Shipping Vessels should also seek clearance from the company before going to areas the barges are anchored.

Mr Kofi Asante Okai, External Affairs Manager of WAGP, said funds and equipment for the laying of the pipelines are in place.

He said four contractors, including the Horizon Offshore Marine Construction Limited are engaged in different aspects of the WAGP. Mr. Okai said the WAGP would be completed by December 2006 and test transmissions would begin at that time.

He said the 678-kilometre 569 million United States dollar pipeline would extend from the "Existing Escravos-Lagos pipeline at the Alagbado "Tee" in Nigeria and proceed to the beachhead in Nigeria near Badagry." Mr Okai said, "From there offshore to Takoradi with gas delivery laterals from the main line extending to Cotonou in Benin, Lome, Togo and Tema Ghana."

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