WAGP’s Committee of Ministers Commit to Strengthen WAPCo

The Governing body of the West African Gas Pipeline Project (WAGP) on Tuesday 12th July 2016 agreed to strengthen the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo). The Committee of Ministers meeting which took place in Abuja, Nigeria, offered the platform for member countries to discuss pertaining issues and take urgent steps to strengthen the operations of the company.

High on the agenda was the discussion of inadequate gas supply to buyer countries, non-payment by major off-takers and pipeline security.

The Minister for Petroleum, Hon Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah called on member countries to collectively work and permanently solve the issues. Hon Buah also noted that there must be a structured payment to enable Ghana pay its debt but strongly indicated that it can only be possible if gas supply is consistent and increased to its contractual volumes.

In the area of pipeline security, Hon Buah emphasized that measures must be put in place to tackle pipeline vandalization and ensure the optimum security of the infrastructure. “As we speak now vandalization of a section of the gas pipelines in Nigeria has impacted our power sector unconstructively and that is the reason why it is extremely important that we collectively address the security issues of the pipeline” he added. Hon Buah further called on the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) to present a reasonable tariff to allow for the reverse Flow of gas from Atuabo through the West African Pipeline (WAGP) system.

The inconsistency in supply volumes and subsequent destruction of the West African gas pipeline brought challenges to Ghana’s power sector. Till date gas supply from WAPCo has been less than 50% of the contractual volumes at all times. The inconsistent supply forces the Volta River Authority (VRA) to procure expensive crude oil and does not enable them plan adequately.

WAPCo’s Managing Director, Mr. Walt Perez called on the ministers to come up with solutions to enable the company function effectively.

The Committee of Ministers Meeting was under the theme “Solidarity through Sustainable Gas Supply for Energy Security in the Sub-Region”. Other dignitaries present included Hon. Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum and Resources, Hon. Jean-Claude Houssou, Benin’s Energy Minister, Hon. Dederiwa Ably-Bidamon, Togo’s Energy Minister, H.E William Azumah-Awinador Kanyirige, Ghana's High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Morlaye Bangoura, ECOWAS Commissioner of Energy and Mines, and Mr. B. Dabire, ECOWAS Energy Director.