Unlocking Opportunities in the Gas Sector – Stakeholders Call for Appropriate Infrastructure


Speakers at the 7th Ghana Gas Forum strongly advocated the need to put in place the necessary infrastructure to pilot the gas sector in Ghana and the West African sub-region.

The stakeholders were of the opinion that the problem of demand in the sector was due to the lack of infrastructure to transport the gas produced downstream.

Speaking at the forum, The Gas Consortium’s board chairman, Dr Nii Darko Asante, said that it is necessary to have the right infrastructure to unlock opportunities in the sector.

He said that as long as the gas market is available, it will be impossible for the country and the sub-region to profit from it without significantly investing in infrastructure.

He noted that in the enclave of Tema where many industrial companies were present, there was no gas distribution network in the enclave.

He said there were also no compressed gas facilities, nor any liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities.

“To unlock the opportunities, the infrastructure has to be good and that takes a lot of capital,” he said.

He said that while there is a huge market for gas, demand has yet to be unlocked due to the lack of distribution channels.

“The other challenge is that since the natural gas market is not yet active, if you want to get into this business you have to do pretty much everything yourself. There are only a few service providers that offer some of the required services.

“There are a number of things that in an ideal market you would just contract an entity to do on your behalf, but in this case you have to recruit almost every part of your operations,” he said.

He said there were some exciting business opportunities for gas suppliers and potential service providers, but none of them would happen until someone decided to spend the money to build the required infrastructure.

Assess the size of the market

In order to get investors to invest in the infrastructure of the sector, Dr Nii Darko, said it was necessary to conduct a market size assessment.

He pointed out that, in the Tema region, the Ministry of Energy had commissioned such a feasibility study, but that this report had not been shared or made public.

He said making such a report public would help inform potential players, especially the private sector, of the reality of the demand and convince some to start taking their own small steps to position themselves for the company when the time comes. .

“We need to get to the stage where we are actually recruiting potential customers. We need these client foundations to be signed to justify the investments we are promoting, ”he said.

Infrastructure is essential

The Managing Director of Integrated Gas and Energy Services, Mr. Emmanuel Anyaeto also stressed that without the right infrastructure, gas producers would flare the gas produced and this would be of no use to the sub-region.

He said that therefore there must be an infrastructure that would ensure supply to customers without interruption.

He also called on industry players to lead the way in finding the solution to the challenge of the infrastructure deficit.

“You are the market players, the carriers of value, the vectors, the triggers of progress and development. If you don’t move, the situation won’t change.

“Downstream, we must be able to mention that today we are using natural gas to drive our vehicles, produce fertilizers for our people, generate electricity and transform our industries,” he said.

He said, however, that this would only be possible if the right infrastructure was in place.

Downstream investments

Axxela Group Strategy Director, Mr. R. Fisayo Duduyemi, for his part, called for the need to invest in intermediate and downstream gas infrastructure developments.

In doing so, he said the sub-region should not only create short-term investments, but think nationally and create something that can be labeled as a national backbone infrastructure.

“On the back of this backbone infrastructure, you can then start expanding into new territories and new clusters. It is important that we have a national vision in this regard and that we create the investment backbone that will inspire players to be interested in further expanding such investments into outer lands and places where there is no such investment. there aren’t a lot of industries but in doing so you attract new industries to arise, ”he explained.

In the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, he said countries need to take a stand and that by creating this basic investment, they would be able to attract industries.

Collaborative approach

West African Pipeline Company Managing Director for Corporate Affairs, Dr Isaac Adjei-Doku also called for a collaborative approach to expand existing infrastructure.

He said there are immense opportunities to expand infrastructure in the downstream gas sector, but this can only be done through collaboration among stakeholders.

“We need a collaborative approach within the industry. Collaboration between the GNPC; Ghana Gas, WAPCO and all stakeholders have resulted in the Tema Takoradi Interconnection Project (TTIP) and this has brought immense and enormous reliability to the pipeline.

“We are seeing a huge uptake of gas by the pipeline, especially in 2020 when the TTIP was completed. This shows that the collaborative approach within the sector is essential if we want to grow, ”he stressed.

He said the collaborations would help expand the infrastructure that was already in place.

Expansion of infrastructure planned

Dr Adjei-Doku also revealed that WAPCO is in talks to further expand its infrastructure in the sub-region.

“We intend to expand the pipeline infrastructure to areas we don’t have. In the ECOWAS master plan, there is a pipeline that is supposed to go to Senegal, there are some that are supposed to go inland like Burkina Faso etc.

“This is to complete the energy pool of West Africa where we have all the high voltage transmission lines which are supposed to ensure a reliable power supply in the sub-region”, he explained. .

Ghana’s gas infrastructure

Also highlighting some infrastructure of the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC), Managing Director Dr Ben Asante said the company had a 110 kilometer pipeline which was installed in 2011.

He said the company also boasts of a gas processing plant and has been instrumental in linking Takoradi and Tema through the TTIP initiative.

He said the planned GNGC infrastructure included a land line between Tema and Takoradi to augment what WAPCO had and was also considering another land line that would go into the bauxite enclave at Atewa, which it called the line. of the eastern corridor.

“There is also the western corridor line which has been completed, up to a place called Dawosaso. We still have to go to Kumasi, ”he said.

The CEO said there was also a line that would go to the Ivorian border and Jomoro for the use of fertilizer.

“We have the Jubilee and TEN fields feeding the processing plant and OCTP is coming in as well.

“Our plans for the future are to build a train two to be able to handle the additional flows that Tullow predicts will arrive somewhere in 2024,” he said.

He said the Tema enclave would also have a distribution network to serve customers other than electricity.

“Currently, the electricity people are served so that the distribution network will serve customers without electricity.

“A distribution enclave is also planned in the Prestea region, mainly for the production of electricity for the processing of minerals,” he revealed.

LNG terminal

GNPC’s director of gas activities, Mr. Hamis Ussif, also pointed out that the country expects to have a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal which is expected to receive, store and deliver 3.4 million tonnes of LNG per year. , operational early next year. in Tema.

He said this was a critical piece of infrastructure, not only for Ghana, but even for the sub-region.

“This will be the first in sub-Saharan Africa and offers Ghana the opportunity to achieve this goal of establishing the country as an energy hub for the sub-region.

“It will also play a key role in ensuring the energy security of the sub-region. We also have other projects that should help with the transition, ”he said.

He said the country had a project that was to be developed in Tema to enable the reception and distribution of gas throughout Tema and even beyond.

“We plan to provide this as a critical interface between WAPCO and the LNG supplies that will arrive next year. We want to explore the country, including our neighboring countries.

“We have been in talks with potential buyers in the sub-region and we plan to export via WAPCO pipelines, as well as virtual pipelines and the Ghana Gas pipeline when it is extended to Côte d’Ivoire,” he said. he noted.

He said GNPC is also planning to set up virtual pipelines that will deliver LNG, especially to mining areas across the country.

He said two mining companies have already approached GNPC about the possibility of taking LNG for their operations.


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