Ghana will be able to generate 3,000 megawatts from the Atuabo Gas enclave where about 500million cubic feet of gas lies waiting to be fully tapped, officials say.
Energy Minister Emmanuel Kofi-Buah says the gas will be available in 2019.
About 3,000 megawatts is nearly 3 times the installed capacity of hydro power plant, Akosombo Dam.
It will herald what the Energy Minister describes as the ‘Gas era’ where the comparatively cheap energy resourceexpected to meet and exceed growing energy demands.
Although Ghana has gas, it is trapped in the Western region where it serves only thermal plants in the Takoradi enclave.
The Tema enclave which is 354km from Atuabo and also has thermal plants is being starved of gas. Tema relies on supplies from West Africa Pipeline Company (WAGPCo), from Nigeria who have indicated they will cut supply over a debt in excess of $180 million.
It has made it even more necessary for government to rely on its own gas from Atuabo.
Distance from Atuabo to Tema
At the moment, Atuabo Gas produces 50 MMscfd as opposed to its full design capacity of 150 MMscfd.
Emmanuel Kofi Buah has indicated that the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant is expected to save the nation over $500million a year from importing light crude to power the thermal plants.
Addressing a news conference Thursday morning, Emmanuel Kofi-Buah explained government plans to install a separate and dedicated pipeline from Atuabo to the Tema enclave.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Petroleum, Prof. Thomas Akabzaa last month explained the benefit of the new pipeline.
“We are looking at a situation where even if the WAGP has challenges, at least, you have another one to rely on”.
The cost of constructing a new pipeline has been put at between US$200 million and US$250 million.
Government is under enormous public pressure to resolve its persistent energy challenges sooner rather than later.