Following the recent announcement by the Ministry of Energy that the Ghana National Gas Company’s Gas Processing Plant at Atuabo in the Western Region was shutting down for essential maintenance works, officials from the Ministry of Energy have engaged media personnel on a tour of the facility to ascertain at first instance the circumstances leading to the shutdown.
The Ministry’s press release, which was subsequently followed by a joint press release by the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) indicated an impact on power supply to consumers due to the shortfall in gas to the generators occasioning from the shutdown.
According to Ing. Robert Kofi Lartey, General Operations Manager of the company, who led the tour, the maintenance work was necessitated to curtail loss of containment due to corrosion to safe guard personnel and equipment safety for efficient and sustainable operations. The maintenance activities included the replacement of sections of pipelines, servicing of the Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) unit, the Central Heating System, Low Temperature Separator, Overhead Product Cooler, as well as pressure safety valves on the LPG storage tanks as well as general corrosion control measures.
Ing Lartey explained that the pressure safety valve replacement work required purging of the Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage tanks with nitrogen gas that was self-generated from two truck-mounted systems owned by GNGC from atmospheric air. The purged LPG is calibrated and flared under permit from the EPA. He further indicated that though the Atuabo plant was under total shut down for maintenance works, other GNGC installations in areas such as Takoradi and Prestea were fully operational.
Around the site, workmen could be seen busily working to restore anti-corrosive paint, replacing rusty equipment occasioning from the salty air which could be hazardous to the operations of GNGC, and engaged in other activities towards the restoration of the plant. It was explained that to complete the works on schedule, trained casual staff had been engaged and that work is being done round the clock, with day and night shifts in the company’s determination to conclude the essential works by Friday 7th April 2023 as announced.
Speaking to the media after the tour, the Head of Communications at the Ministry of Energy, Mr. Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng indicated the team’s satisfaction with the progress of the essential work being undertaken, and expressed the confidence that it will be completed on schedule as announced.
He stated that these essential works were part of government’s commitment to ensuring a robust and efficient energy sector that is fit for purpose and meets the needs of both individual consumers and industry in the 21st century.